Photographer: David Ramos/Bloomberg

Europe's Feelgood Factor Lifts Company Sentiment to Decade High

  • Business climate index rises to strongest since June 2007
  • Euro-area economy is heading for best growth since crisis

Euro-area companies are the most upbeat about the outlook than at any time since the financial crisis, one more element in a pickup that’s put the region’s economy on course for its strongest performance in years.

The European Commission said Wednesday that it’s Business Climate Indicator rose in November to hit its strongest since June 2007. The outlook for both production and export orders improved, indicating the economy is benefiting from the upswing in global demand.

A separate measure of economic confidence among businesses and consumers also increased to hit the highest since 2000. The reading of 114.6 was in line with the median survey of economists. There were additional positive figures on the job market, with employment plans within the retail trade and industry at the highest in more than 30 years, though they fell slightly in the services sector.

While confidence in the euro area has been rising and the economy is set for its best year since 2007, inflation has yet to show signs of a sustained pickup toward the European Central Bank’s 2 percent goal. 

Data on Thursday is predicted to show consumer prices rose 1.6 percent in November, with core inflation at a tepid 1 percent. But in a welcome development for the ECB, the commission’s report showed consumer price expectations picked up in November.

— With assistance by Andre Tartar

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