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Business

Eurozone economic sentiment up again, but decelerating

The eurozone economy has continued to make progress, a key survey has shown. But while the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) showed a mood improvement, the rise in confidence levels was less pronounced in November.

November saw another brightening of the economic mood among executives and consumers in the 17-member eurozone, the European Commission's Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) showed Thursday.

The closely watched barometer rose for the eighth consecutive month to 98.5 from 97.7 points in October, and is now standing at its highest level since August 2011.

Despite the continued improvement, the EU executive issued the latest figures with a warning, saying the upward movement had decelerated noticeably over the past two months.

Sluggish growth

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Eurozone countries record weak 3rd quarter growth

Economists also put the latest improvement in perspective. "We would not see the better mood as a signal of a solid pick-up in the eurozone economy during the final quarter of this year," Commerzbank analyst Christoph Weil commented.

Among the larger euro area nations, Germany gained 0.8 points in November, while Italy logged a 1.9-point improvement. By contrast, struggling France continued to lag, dropping 0.9 points in the ESI indicator.

The ESI release came after the European Central bank's decision earlier this month to cut interest rates to a historic low of 0.25 percent in an attempt to shore up the bloc's fragile economy, which grew only by a meager 0.1 percent in the third quarter.

hg/tj (dpa, AFP)

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