March 28, 2019
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone economic sentiment eased more than expected in March, mainly because of a deteriorating mood in industry and services, European Commission data showed on Thursday.
The Commission said in its monthly survey that economic sentiment in the 19 countries sharing the euro eased to 105.5 points in March from 106.2 in February, more than the 105.9 expected by economists polled by Reuters.
Separately, the Commission’s business climate index, which helps point to the phase of the business cycle, fell to 0.53 in March from 0.69 in February, against a decline to only 0.66 that was expected by economists.
Mood in both key sectors of the euro zone economy — industry and services — turned out worse than forecast, with industry declining to -1.7 point from -0.4 in February against expectations of a fall to only -0.8 and services easing to 11.3 from 12.1 against expectations of a decline to 12.0.
The survey showed that consumers expectations about prices 12 months ahead eased in March to a reading of 17 from 18 in February and selling price expectations in industry also declined to a reading of 7.0 in March from 9.0 in February, continuing a falling trend from the start of the year.
(Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)