Brussels, Belgium (4E) – Consumer confidence in the euro area rose for the 11th straight month in October, further signs that economic recovery in the common currency bloc is gaining traction.
The European Commission said Wednesday that its preliminary view for the gauge of consumer confidence in the 17-nation currency area jumped to minus 14.5 in October from minus 14.9 in the previous month, staying in its highest level since July 2011 for the second consecutive month.
The result matches the median forecast of 28 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
Consumer confidence has been improving since December 2012, reinforcing the conviction that the worst is over for the euro zone’s fiscal and banking crisis, and the possibility of a breakup of the currency area is becoming less likely. This year, an increasing number of governments have scaled back on austerity and while the jobless rate continues to remain high, it has now started to become steady.
Earlier this month, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi pledged that the bank will maintain the key interest rates at current low levels for an extended period, partly due to the “broad-based weakness in the economy.”
Economists forecast economic growth to ease to 0.2 percent in the third quarter after expanding 0.3 percent in the previous three months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.