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Business

Eurozone business climate improves further in October

Business leaders in the eurozone are more confident that significant growth will return to their economies, according to a survey compiled by the EU Commission. Latest industry and consumer data give rise to their hopes.

The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) for the eurozone picked up 0.9 points in October, reaching a month-on-month reading of 97.8 points, the EU executive Commission said Wednesday.

In October, economic sentiment in the 17-nation currency area hit the highest level in two years, as the eurozone was emerging from a record 18-month recession, growing 0.3 percent in the second quarter.

The EU Commission's indicator suggested, however, that the recovery might be cooling somewhat.

“While the upward trend observed since May has been continued, the magnitude and sectoral scope of the improvement in confidence has moderated compared to recent months,” the Commission said in a statement.

The Commission also noted that confidence had weakened in services, retail trade and construction in October, while industry and consumer data had been driving the ESI's increase.

Improving sentiments about the eurozone economy as a whole were reflected by the Commission's Business Climate Index (BCI), which it also presented Wednesday.

The widely-watched indicator rose 0.18 points in October to finish at minus 0.01 points. By comparison, the BCI was at more than minus 20 points during the height of the eurozone debt crisis in 2009.

The moods among business leaders improved in three of the five most important eurozone economies. In the Netherlands the indicator gained 3.3 points, followed by France - up 2.6 points - and Germany picking up 0.8 points.

In Spain and Italy, however, business leaders were less upbeat than in September, which was reflected by drops of 2.2 points and 2 points respectively.

uhe/dr (AFP, Reuters, dpa)