France is the EU country with the most pessimistic view regarding its economy, according to the latest European Commission survey. On the contrary, eurozone sentiment rose overall.
The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) score for the 17 countries using the euro currency grew by 0.8 points to 98.5 in November, showing a rise in confidence. As the report indicates, ESI’s increase was driven by improved confidence in services and industry. This increase was also observed in Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany, four of EU’s largest economies.
According to the survey, services confidence registered a strong increase (+2.9) in November. Industry confidence (+1.1) also rose. Retail trade confidence remained broadly unchanged. On the other hand, consumer confidence and confidence in the construction sector decreased by 0.9.
Moreover, France is the country that appears to be the most pessimistic regarding its economy among the EU. French consumer confidence declined sharply in November, falling 0.9 points to 95.2. In addition, business activity in the country also shrank in November due to high labour costs and a lack of reforms that affected exports.
Slight fall in unemployment
According to the latest unemployment report, seasonally-adjusted unemployment in the euro area reduced to 12.1% in October compared with 12.2% in September. Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.8%), Germany (5.2%) and Luxembourg (5.9%), and the highest in Greece (27.3% in August 2013) and Spain (26.7%).