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Euro-Area Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Declined in June

ECB President Mario Draghi
Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank. Photographer: Martin Leissl/Bloomberg

Euro-area consumer confidence unexpectedly fell in June, indicating the region still faces a difficult economic recovery.

An index of household confidence in the 18-nation euro zone decreased to minus 7.4 from minus 7.1 in May, the European Commission in Brussels said in a preliminary report today. That fell short of the median forecast of an improvement to minus 6.5 in a Bloomberg News survey of 23 economists.

With lending to companies and households down almost 2 percent from a year ago in 2014, euro-inflation in May was 0.5 percent, matching the slowest pace in more than four years. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is taking steps to push ultra-low borrowing costs to filter through to the real economy and drive investment and economic activity.

Economists forecast growth in the region will be stable in the second and third quarter at 0.3 percent after a 0.2 percent expansion in the first three months of the year, according to a Bloomberg News survey of 30 estimates published this week.

British Airways sister company Vueling Airlines SA sees evidence of some recovery in Italy, Chief Executive Officer Alex Cruz said this month. Juergen Stackmann, CEO of Seat, the Spanish division of Europe’s largest automaker Volkswagen AG, said last month Spanish market is improving, helping a positive sales trend continue in May.

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