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Indicators of confidence become positive after years of pessimism.
The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) brings together 5 sectoral indicators: "Construction confidence", "Consumer confidence", "Economic sentiment", "Confidence in industry" and "Retail confidence". It is an economic indicator for assessing the health of the market and the economy from the perspective of consumers and industry.
According to the data provided by Eurostat in December 2017, the ESI indicator concerning economic sentiment has continued to improve since April 2009, with an acceleration since autumn 2016. The average improvement across the EU was 10.2 percentage points between August 2016 and December 2017. The last month, moreover, saw the highest rise since August 2000, with 1.6 points for EU countries.
This new confidence does not, however, concern all countries. Although France and Germany are found at the top of the ranking (+2.3% and +1.6% respectively), the indicators are less positive for countries such as Italy (unchanged at 0%) and Spain (-0.8%).
"Construction confidence", meanwhile, became positive for the first time in 10 years in October 2017, after a long negative period.
The ESI is compiled on the basis of monthly surveys since 1985. Around 135 000 businesses and 40 000 consumers are polled each month across the European Union.