Apr 22, 2010
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Euro zone consumer confidence rises

Apr 22, 2010

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Consumer confidence improved in the 16-country euro zone this month, data showed on Thursday 22 April, boding well for economic recovery.

Photo : AFP.

A flash estimate by the European Commission showed that consumer confidence increased to -15.2 in April from a downwardly revised -17.3 in March.

For the wider, 27-nation European Union, the indicator rose to -12.5 from -13.9.

Consumer spending has been the weakest link in the euro zone's recovery from the worst economic crisis since World War Two as rising unemployment hits people's spending power.

Economic expansion has depended on government spending and exports.

Economists expect the euro zone economy to have grown modestly in the first quarter of 2010 after it stagnated in the final three months of last year.

Growth is likely to remain weak this year, putting pressure on the European Central Bank to refrain from any interest rate increases and on governments to keep stimulus programmes that bolster their economies despite growing deficits.

Eurostat will publish economic sentiment data for all sectors in April at the end of the month.

(Reporting by Marcin Grajewski, editing by Dale Hudson)

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