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Eurozone Economic Sentiment Eases For Eighth Month

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Eurozone's economic sentiment eased for an eighth successive month in February, led by a sharp deterioration in industrial confidence, survey data from the European Commission showed on Wednesday.

The economic sentiment index fell to 106.1 from 106.3 in January. Economists had forecast a score of 106.

The industrial confidence index dropped to -0.4 from 0.6, which was worse than the 0.1 percent economists had predicted.

The consumer confidence index improved for a second month, rising to -7.4 from -7.9, confirming the flash estimate.

The services confidence also improved in February, with the index climbing to 12.1 from 11. Economists had expected the reading to remain steady.

Morale strengthened in the retail trade, but weakened in the construction sector.

The business climate index showed a score of 0.69 in February, which was unchanged from January. Economists had forecast a score of 0.67.

"While February's surveys do justify some optimism about a cautious bounce back, the manufacturing sector problems and downside risks like Brexit and higher tariffs for the auto sector could still develop into something serious," ING economist Bert Colijn said.

"The [ECB] governing council is therefore unlikely to have a unanimous verdict on the temporary versus permanent matter at the March meeting."

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