Austerity hits European consumer confidence

CONSUMER confidence across the European Union (EU) fell in September to -11.8 points from -11.2 in August as concerns over Europe’s economic recovery returned.

Across the 16-member euro area, which excludes the countries like the UK that have not joined the single currency, confidence was up fractionally to -11.2 from -11.4 in August. However, following two strong months in which confidence had appeared to be returning, the gauge missed analysts expectations of -10.

July had seen a surge in both consumer confidence and economic sentiment across the EU.

Since then the picture has become more mixed as global growth has cooled and governments across the EU step up spending cuts to rein in their budget deficits.