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European Confidence Figures Soften Further

James Boston
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European Confidence Figures Soften Further

The European Commission has published updates to a broad range of sentiment indicators for the European Union member countries this morning. The headline Consumer Confidence number for September is still reading at –11.4, this compares to the anticipation of a rise to -10.0 this morning.

On the commercial side the Business Climate number has been announced as 0.07 in comparison to a 0.13 reading in August and a market consensus estimate for 0.16 today. The overall Economic Sentiment number now stands at 99.9 following last month’s 100.0 reading and compares to an anticipated figure of 100.6.

In the manufacturing sector, the Industrial Confidence number has been released as –5.5, compared to a reading of -5.6 in August and an expected figure of -5.3 this morning. Finally, the Services Confidence indicator for the EU is reading at 3.2 in comparison to the 2.6 recorded in August and an anticipated reading of 3.1 today.

The relative strength of the services sector compared to the manufacturing sector is once again evident in this morning’s data, the services sector is buoying the overall business sentiment numbers which in turn gives the spurious impression of a positive outlook to Europe’s commercial sector, particularly in comparison to the weak consumer sentiment numbers.

A regional picture can be garnered from some of the Eurozone member countries that also published sentiment data this morning. Portugal has announced it’s Business Confidence figure at 0.7, up again from the August number of 0.6, Consumer Confidence is not faring so well at –24.6 it is however an improvement on the prior month’s -25.5. Greece’s Business Confidence reading now stands at 99.3 compared to 101.9 in August while the Consumer Confidence figure has come in at –55.8 compared to -54.7 in August. Business Confidence in Austria has been reported at –7.1 compared to -3.6 last month.

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