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Eurozone Economic Sentiment Weakens More Than Expected

Eurozone's economic sentiment deteriorated at a faster than expected pace in March, and for the ninth month in row, survey data from the European Commission showed on Thursday.

The economic sentiment index fell to 105.5 from 106.2 in February. Economists had expected a score of 105.9.

The weakening was led by industry and services.

The industrial confidence index dropped to -1.7 from -0.4, and the services measure fell to 11.3 from 12.1. Economists had forecast readings of -0.5 and 12, respectively.

The consumer confidence index improved to -7.2 from -7.4, in line with its flash estimate.

Sentiment modestly improved in the retail and construction sectors, while the morale surged in the financial services industry.

Separately, the European Commission reported that the business climate indicator for the euro area decreased 0.16 points to 0.69 in March.

Managers' views of the past production, their production expectations, and their assessments of both overall and export order books declined significantly, while their appraisal of the stocks of finished products worsened only slightly, the report added.

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