Euro zone economic sentiment improved more than expected in May and inflation expectations among consumers and companies rose for the first time since December, European Commission data showed on Wednesday.
Consumer morale rose across the euro zone’s biggest economies, with the notable exception of France, as people became more optimistic about job prospects, savings expectations and the general financial and economic situation, the Commission said.
Its monthly economic sentiment index for the 18 countries sharing the euro rose to 102.7 in May from 102.0 in April. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a rise to 102.2. Four of the bloc’s biggest five economies saw sentiment improving, led by a rise of 1.3 points in the Netherlands. France, the euro zone’s second-largest economy, registered a decline of 0.4 points to 96.7, data showed.
“Consumer and business confidence is rising but is still generally diffident about the outlook ahead,” David Brown, analyst at New View Economics, said. "Uncertainty about global economic prospects, worries about the crisis in Ukraine and the long wait for additional ECB easing have been clouding the recent picture,” he said.