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Saturday 26th of February 2011
February 24, 2011    

Euro zone sentiment rises more than expected

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by Kay Murchie

A monthly survey by the European Commission has reported a rise in euro zone economic sentiment in February.

The Indicator rose to 107.8 in February, up from 106.8 in January and exceeded forecasts of a reading of 106.8.

In a statement, the Commission said: “The ESI (Economic Sentiment Indicator) is now above its long-term average in six out of the seven largest member states, with Spain still catching up.”

Meanwhile, the separate business climate indicator for the 17-member nation remained unchanged in February at 1.58 - the highest level since May 2000.

Meanwhile, the survey revealed a surge in consumer inflation expectations for the next 12 months.

The indicator rose to 25.7 points from 20.9 in January - much higher than the long-term average of 20.6 points.

Inflationary pressures are rife throughout the world, due to soaring food prices.

However, the European Central Bank is expected to hold interest rates until later in the year despite higher inflation.

Inflation in the euro zone currently stands at 2.4% - relatively close to the 2% target.

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