Euro-Area Consumer Sentiment Improves Amid Nascent Recovery

Euro-area consumer confidence rose more than economists forecast in December as the 17-nation currency bloc recovered from a record-long recession.

An index of household confidence in the euro area increased to minus 13.6 from minus 15.4 in November, the European Commission in Brussels said in a preliminary report today. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 22 economists was for an increase to minus 15.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said this month that interest rates will stay low for the foreseeable future as policy makers deliberate over whether they have done enough to prevent deflation and revive growth. The euro area’s nascent recovery nearly stalled in the third quarter as exports and household consumption cooled.

The bloc’s economy grew 0.1 percent after expanding 0.3 percent in the second quarter. Economists see gross domestic product rising 0.2 percent this quarter and in the first three months of 2014, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Unemployment (UMRTEMU) in the region remains close to its highest level in the single currency’s history at 12.1 percent. Airplanes and military equipment company European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. (EAD) plans to cut 5,800 jobs in Germany, France, Spain and the U.K., FO labor union said on Dec. 9.

To contact the reporter on this story: Angeline Benoit in Madrid at abenoit4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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