FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Euro zone economic sentiment edged lower for the ninth consecutive month in September, pulled down by easing optimism in industry and among consumers, a monthly survey by the European Commission showed on Thursday.
With a global trade war between the world’s biggest powers looming large and some key emerging markets in turmoil, global sentiment indicator have taken a dip, suggesting that growth could slow in most places with the notable exception of the U.S., which is enjoying a boom in part fuelled by tax cuts.
The Commission survey showed the economic sentiment indictor for the 19 countries sharing the euro currency eased to 110.9 points in September from 111.6 in August, falling short of expectations for 111.2 and continuing a downward trend started since a peak of 115.2 last December.
But the Commission’s separate business climate indictor, which helps identify the phase of the business cycle, held steady at 1.21 in September and even beat market forecasts for 1.19, even as it remained well short of its peak of 1.62 in January.
The drop in sentiment last month came as the indicator for industry fell to 4.7 from 5.6, the survey showed.
Europe’s car industry has struggled in recent months, primarily on a difficult adjustment to new emissions standards and dealerships’ decision to clear their stock before the new rules came into effect.
Indeed, industrial sentiment took the biggest hit in countries like Germany and France, the survey showed.
Sentiment in services, which generate more than two thirds of euro zone gross domestic product, rose to 14.6 from 14.4 in a month earlier but consumer sentiment fell to -2.9 from -1.9.
Consumer inflation expectations over the next 12 months rose to 20.1 from 18.2.
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(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Francesco Canepa)