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Eurozone Economic Sentiment Erodes Sharply As Industrial Confidence Plummets

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Eurozone economic sentiment weakened for a tenth straight month in April to its lowest level in nearly three years, amid a sharp deterioration in the morale in industry to its weakest level in about five years.

The economic sentiment index decreased to 104 from 105.6 in March, survey data from the European Commission showed on Monday. Economists had expected a score of 105.

The latest reading was the weakest since September 2016, when the score was 103.8.

The industrial confidence index eased sharply to -4.1 from -1.6, marking the lowest reading since December 2014, when it was at the same level.

Meanwhile, the services measure was steady at 11.5. Economists had forecast readings of -1.7 and 11.5, respectively.

The consumer confidence index fell to -7.9 from -7.2, in line with its flash estimate.

Sentiment eroded in both construction and retail trade sectors.

Separately, the European Commission reported that the business climate indicator for the euro area decreased for a second month in April to 0.42 from to 0.54 in March. Economists had expected a score of 0.49.

"Although incoming data hasn't exactly turned a corner yet, hope for a growth pickup in the coming months remains alive," ING economist Bert Colijn said.

Data released by the European Central Bank on Monday revealed that the pace of growth in loans to households slowed to 3.2 percent from 3.3 percent annually in February, and matching the rate in January.

Growth in lending to non-financial businesses eased to 3.5 percent from 3.8 percent.

The purchasing managers' surveys had shown that the private sector growth slowed for a second successive month in April amid a decline in manufacturing activity. New export orders fell sharply for the seventh straight month.

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