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Europe: Economic sentiment up in January

Economic sentiment improved in the eurozone and the EU28 in the first month of 2020, versus last December, the European Commission announced on Thursday.

In January, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) rose 1.9 points to reach 101.3 in EU28 and enhanced 1.5 points to reach 102.9 in the eurozone, according to a press release issued by the commission.

The increase in the euro area stemmed from significant rises in confidence in the industry and construction sectors, while it dropped among retail traders and remained unchanged in services sector.

Amongst the largest euro-area economies, the ESI soared in Germany by 2 points, and France by 1.5 points, while the Netherlands (-0.3) and Italy (-0.1) posted decreases.

The eurozone/euro area or EA19 represents member states that use the single currency -- euro -- while the EU28 includes all member countries of the bloc.

"In line with the euro area, confidence in industry and construction rose markedly, while consumer confidence remained stable," the commission noted.

"By contrast, confidence in services increased significantly and declined more strongly in retail trade," it added.

Meanwhile, the EU Commission also stressed that the Business Climate Indicator (BCI), of which all components improved, for the EA19 posted a slight increase of 0.09 points to stand at negative 0.23 in January.

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