Eurozone economic confidence slides amid soaring Covid cases
Economic confidence fell sharply in the Eurozone in November, a new survey has shown, as the bloc grappled with soaring coronavirus cases and countries put in place economically damaging restrictions.
The European Commission’s economic sentiment indicator dropped 3.5 points to 87.6, having recovered sharply in the summer after the lockdowns of the spring.
It comes after countries across the euro area brought back tough new restrictions to try to curb the spread of Covid-19. Shops, restaurants and bars have been heavily disrupted in the normally busy christmas period.
The November “decline was fuelled by diving confidence in retail trade, services and among consumers,” the Commission said.
“Sentiment in industry and construction held up rather well, posting comparatively mild deteriorations.”
The services sector confidence gauge fell sharply, by 5.2 points, “sealing the end of its recovery,” the Commission said.
In November the bloc’s financial services sector became markedly more gloomy. Its confidence gauge plunged 10.9 points, with respondents expecting tough times ahead.
EU countries have agreed in principle to a €750bn (£670bn) coronavirus recovery fund. It is designed to raise funds collectively to help those states most in need after Covid.
Yet the fund is currently being blocked by Hungary and Poland. They oppose provisions that say countries must follow the rule of law, which they say is targeted at their right-wing governments.