Economic confidence in the eurozone has hit its highest level in nearly a decade as the bloc’s growth prospects have been lifted by bouyant consumers and a brightening global outlook.
The European Commission’s April economic sentiment guage rose 1.6 points to 109.6 in April – surpassing its pre-debt crisis peak and the highest level since September 2007. The climb was ahead of forecasts.
April’s figures are the latest batch of optimistic survey data from the bloc which suggest eurozone quarterly growth has been lift at the start of the year. The bloc’s latest GDP numbers will be released on Friday, with economists expecting an acceleration from the 0.5 per cent registered in the final quarter of 2016.
Despite warnings over rising populism in a major electoral year, markets have snapped up eurozone asssets this week after France’s presidential election looks likely to deliver centrist Emmanuel Macron to power in less than two weeks’ time
Moderating political risk are likely to be front and centre at the European Central Bank’s latest press conference at 1300 BST today. President Mario Draghi, who has stressed that risks to the bloc’s growth remain tilted to the downside, will be grilled on any shifts in the ECB’s outlook in the wake of the first round French vote.
No change to the central bank’s interest rates or stimulus measures is expected.
(Chart via Bloomberg.)