Confidence in the eurozone's economy rose in August to levels not seen since before the financial crisis, according to the latest sentiment surveys of businesses, economists and consumers, conducted by the European Commission.
Economic sentiment rose to its highest level in 10 years, while the business climate also improved. Consumer confidence, which edged up on the previous month, remained a little subdued, however.
The headline economic sentiment index for the eurozone rose to 111.9 in August, from an upwardly revised 111.3 in July as improved confidence in industry and services offset decreases in retail trade sentiment.
Economic sentiment improved in three of the five largest eurozone countries – Italy, France and Spain – but eased in Germany and the Netherlands.
Among the reasons for the 0.6-point fall in Germany appeared to be related to the strength of the euro and its impact on export costs.
While industry confidence rose by 0.6 points, much of the downward pressure on the index came from business managers' appraisals of export order books, which worsened.
Although there was no information on the impact of the stronger euro, the balance of Germany's export-led economy has shown signs of tilting back towards higher levels of domestic demand.