CONSUMER confidence in the euro area is at its highest level in six and a half years, following the region’s return to modest growth after a protracted double dip recession.
The European Commission’s measure of consumer optimism rose to minus 8.7 points, above the region’s long-term average and the highest since October 2007.
“Low inflation and stabilising job markets likely buoyed consumers in April. Consumers have recently also been less worried about the recent economic situation and more optimistic about the outlook,” said IHS Global Insight’s Howard Archer.
Builders in the Eurozone also recorded a second solid month of expansion in February, throwing off two years of decline. Output in the construction sector was up 6.7 per cent compared to the same month in 2013, following an eight per cent increase year-on-year in January and a 0.1 per cent bump in December.
The strong increases in production in the first two months of 2014 indicates that the industry will record the first quarterly increase in output since September 2011. Production is still far below pre-crisis levels: output was more than 25 per cent higher at its peak in 2006 than last month.