Brussels, Belgium (4E) – Business confidence in the euro zone remained positive despite growing tensions between the European Union and Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, although there was a sharp decline in optimism among both households and companies in central and eastern Europe.
The European Commission said Wednesday said Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) for the 18-member common currency block, a gauge of confidence among businesses and consumers, climbed to 102.2 in July from 102.1 in the prior month.
The figure came compared with analysts’ forecast last week for a decline of 101.9, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile, the ESI for the 28-member EU dropped to 105.8 in July from 106.4 from July, which reflects a decline in the national surveys for most of the nations that are more geographically proximate to Russia or Ukraine than most euro-zone members, including Hungary, Poland, Slovak Republic and Czech Republic.
The economy climbed just 0.2 percent in the first quarter from the previous period, which is slower compared from the previous three-month period. The second-quarter figure is set to be released on Aug. 14, but indicators point to a modest growth.