(Dow Jones) Eurozone consumer confidence surged in November to reach its highest level since the start of 2001, a sign that the stronger rate of economic growth achieved in 2017 is likely to continue into next year.
On Wednesday, the European Commission said its monthly measure of sentiment rose to 0.1 from minus 1.1 in October. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal last week had anticipated a more modest rise to minus 0.9.
Pre-German election crisis
The Commission’s survey was conducted before the collapse of talks to form a new government in Germany, the eurozone’s largest member. But sentiment has risen steadily throughout the year despite a series of major political challenges, responding to falling unemployment and evidence of stronger economic growth.
The jump in confidence during November will likely reassure policy makers at the European Central Bank that they have made the right decision in cutting their monthly bond purchases from January.
The prospect of reduced stimulus from the central bank could have made consumers more uncertain about their own prospects, but they appear undaunted by the move.
The eurozone economy has been growing since mid-2013, but the pace of its recovery has picked up this year, aided in part by increased consumer spending.