Europe's economic sentiment up in August

By Gokhan Ergocun

ISTANBUL (AA) – Following a coronavirus-triggered slump, economic confidence continued to recover in the EU and eurozone in August on a monthly basis, the European Commission announced Friday.

This month, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) climbed 5 points to 86.9 in the EU27 and 5.3 points to 87.7 in the eurozone, according to a press release by the commission.

The eurozone/euro area or the EA19 represents member states that use the single currency — euro — while the EU27 includes all member countries of the bloc.

The statement noted: “The ESI in both regions has so far recovered around 60% of the combined losses of March and April.

"Also the Employment Expectations Indicator (EEI) improved for the fourth month in a row (by 2.9 points to 89.6 in the euro area and by 2.7 points to 89.5 in the EU)."

The rapid increase stemmed from confidence rise in business sectors — industry, services and retail trade — while construction sector posted a monthly decrease of 0.4%.

Confidence in the industry, services and retail trade sectors rebounded by 3.5%, 9% and 4.6% respectively. Consumer confidence remained broadly stable with 0.3% increase month-on-month.

Among the largest euro-area economies, France saw the largest recovery in the ESI with 9.3%, followed by the Netherlands (7.1%), Germany (5.9%) and Italy (2.7%).

"By contrast, the ESI suffered a setback in Spain (−2.5)," it added.

Turkey's economic confidence was also up sharply in June, 4.4% to 85.9, according to official data the country released Friday.

COVID-19, which first appeared last December in China, has spread all around the world, taking over half a million lives and affecting international economies deeply.