Euro area developments
In the euro area, the ESI’s stabilisation resulted from markedly higher confidence in services, construction and, to a lesser extent, retail trade, while confidence worsened among consumers and remained virtually unchanged in industry. Amongst the largest euro-area economies, the ESI increased significantly in Italy (+1.7) and Spain (+1.3) and edged up in Germany (+0.4), while it remained broadly unchanged in France (-0.2). By contrast, the ESI declined somewhat in the Netherlands (-0.4).
The headline indicator for the EU remained stable in December (±0.0) at its long term average. Concerning the two largest non-euro area EU economies, the ESI worsened in both the UK (-2.4) and Poland (-1.2). In line with the euro area, confidence in services, construction and retail trade increased. By contrast, confidence in industry decreased, while confidence among consumers remained broadly stable. EU managers' employment expectations were broadly in line with the euro area, but rose also in services. Also trends in price expectations were similar to the euro area, albeit more muted in services and retail trade and broadly stable among consumers.