Economic sentiment slips in Europe

March 27, 2013 at 8:45 AM

BRUSSELS, March 27 (UPI) -- The European Commission said its monthly economic sentiment indicators dropped in March but a measure of consumer confidence was little changed.

The European Commission's news agency Europa said Wednesday that economic sentiment indicators dropped in both the 17-member eurozone and the 27-member European Union.

The sentiment index fell 1.1 points to 90 in the eurozone and 0.6 points to 91.4 in the European Union.

The index dropped in three of the five largest European economies, including France, Germany and Spain, where the indexes fell 1.7 points, 1.6 points and 0.9 points, respectively.

"The decrease in industry confidence (down 1.2 points) resulted from a much more negative assessment of the current level of overall order books and a slightly worsened assessment of stocks of finished products, while managers' production estimates remain virtually unchanged," the report said.

A separate consumer confidence index, which added 0.1 point was "broadly stable," Europa said.

"Consumers were less pessimistic regarding their unemployment expectations, while slightly more pessimistic regarding their savings expectations over the next 12 months. Consumers' views on the future general economic situation and the future financial situation of their households were broadly unchanged," the report said.

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