Economic sentiment in the euro zone eased in January as continued COVID-19 lockdowns further undermined the mood in services, in retail and among consumers, despite an improvement of sentiment in industry.
Monthly data from the European Commission showed that economic sentiment in the 19 countries sharing the euro deteriorated to 91.5 points this month from 92.4 in December.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected a decline in the sentiment to 89.5 in January, with a fall forecast in services – among the sectors hardest hit by lockdowns. Confidence in industry was expected to be unchanged.
In fact, it rose slightly to -5.9 in January from -6.8 in December.
Sentiment in services, which as a sector produce two thirds of the single currency area’s gross domestic product, slipped to -17.8 from -17.1 in December, a little less steeply than economists had forecast.
Among consumers, sentiment fell to -15.5 from -13.8 last month. In retail, it fell to -18.9 from -12.9.
Selling price expectations in manufacturing rose to 4.9 from 4.1 in December while consumer price expectations remained almost unchanged at 15.4 in January.
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