Euro zone economic sentiment hits four-year high in September

Euro zone economic sentiment hit a new 4-year high in September, European Commission data showed on Tuesday, mainly thanks to more optimism in industry, and the retail and services sectors.

The overall economic sentiment rose to 105.6 this month from 104.1 in August — the highest reading since April 2011 when it was 106.1.

The Commission’s business climate indicator, which points to the phase of the business cycle, defied market expectations of a minor decline and rose to 0.34 in September from a revised 0.20 in August.

Inflation expectations among consumers 12 months ahead, also measures by the monthly Commission survey, rose to 3.2 in September after dipping to 3.1 in August from 4.2 in July. But they remained well below the long-term average of 19.7.

Euro zone consumer inflation was 0.1 percent year-on-year in August, down from 0.2 percent in July.

The European Central Bank wants to keep it below, but close to 2 percent over the medium term and started buying government bonds on the market in February to inject more cash into the economy and make prices rise faster.

But selling price expectations in industry still fell to -3.3 from -2.0, continuing a downward trend since June.

Sentiment in euro zone industry improved to -2.2 from -3.7 and optimism in the services sector — the biggest part of the euro zone economy — rose to 12.4 from 10.1. Also in the retail sector the mood improved to 4.1 from 3.5 in August.

Consumer confidence declined slightly to -7.1 from -6.9 and sentiment in the construction sector also worsened to -23.3 from -22.7.

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