BRUSSELS - Confidence in the economy of the entire European Union has risen for the third month in a row. Sentiment became more positive, especially in the areas of employment, retail spending and industry. Optimism in the construction sector, on the other hand, declined considerably, said the European Commission this week.
The Netherlands lagged somewhat behind the growing confidence compared to other major economies in the E.U. The indicator for economic sentiment rose by half a point in the Netherlands. By contrast, in the European Union’s two largest economies, Germany and France, sentiment became considerably more positive with respective increases of 2.5 and 4.4 points.
Confidence increased in industry, services and retail, but not in construction. Entrepreneurs in this sector expect less demand for work, possibly due to rising mortgage interest rates and falling house prices, a development that is already underway in the Netherlands. Construction companies in the E.U. expect employment in the sector to decline over the next three months.
The gauge measuring economic sentiment across the E.U. rose by 2.3 points to 98 points. In the eurozone, the increase was slightly greater, with a boost of 2.8 to 99.9 points.
Last October, economic confidence in the E.U. had reached its lowest level (90.9) since November 2020. It is now close to the long-term average since 2000.