Euro zone sentiment edges up in Sept, defies expectations of drop

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BRUSSELS, Sep 29 (Businesshala) – Euro area economic sentiment rose higher in September after falling in August, fueled by optimism among consumers and the industry and construction sectors, while inflation expectations among manufacturers and consumers alike continued to rise.

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After hitting an all-time high of 119.0 in July, the European Commission’s economic sentiment indicator rose from 117.6 in August to 117.8 in September.

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Economists polled by Businesshala had expected sentiment to ease to 116.9 in September, largely due to expected weakening in industry and services.

But the Commission’s data shows sentiment in the industry improved to 14.1 from 13.8 in August, though it declined to 15.1 in services from 16.8.

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Consumers became more optimistic, with a reading of -4.0, up from -5.3 in August, and the indicator in the construction sector rose from 5.5 to 7.5, helping narrow the decline in the retail sector from 4.6 to 1.3.

The economic rebound following the COVID-19 pandemic and rapidly rising energy prices also raised higher inflation expectations among consumers and manufacturers.

Selling price expectations among manufacturers rose to 38.2 points since the survey began in 2000, while consumer inflation expectations rose to 33.1 from 31.1 in August, reaching a record close of 38.7 since August 2001.

Reporting by Jan Strupzewski; Editing by Philip Blenkinso

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