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Economic sentiment indicator rose in Europe

July 30, 2013 at 9:08 AM

BRUSSELS, July 30 (UPI) -- The European Commission said its monthly economic sentiment indicator rose in July for the third consecutive month.

The European Commission's news agency Europa said Tuesday the economic sentiment index rose 1.2 points to 92.5 in the eurozone, the 17 countries that share the euro as currency, and by 2.4 points to 95 in the European Union, which added its 28th member, Croatia, at the beginning of July.

Only the construction sector weakened, Europa said, pointing to gains in confidence among consumers and managers in industry, services and retail.

The economic sentiment indicator also improved in four out of Europe's five largest economies.

The index added 2.9 points in Italy, 1.2 in Spain and France, and 0.7 in Germany. The indicator dropped 2 points in the Netherlands.

In the eurozone, the service sector posted the sharpest gain, adding 1.8 points compared to a 0.6 point gain in industry and a 1.4-point gain in consumer confidence, which improved for the eighth consecutive month.

Retail trade confidence added 0.9 points while confidence in the construction sector lost 1 point.

Europa also noted financial services confidence, although not included in the economic sentiment indicator, increased by 3.1 points in July.

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