BRUSSELS – Unprecedented collapse of the climate of economic confidence in Europe in April. Under the blows of the Covid-19 epidemic, and the restrictive measures imposed by governments to try to limit its spread, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) showed a drop of 28.8 points in the euro area, at an altitude 65.8 points, which according to the European Commission, which processes the data, represents the most marked monthly drop ever recorded (since the beginning of the survey, in 1985).
In this way, the indicator ended near the historical minimum reached during the 2009 recession, following the financial crisis of 2007-2008.
The Commission then reports a collapse to a new historical low of the employment expectations indicator (Eei, or Employment Expectations Indicator) with 30.1 points less in April, at 63.7 points in the euro area. The values relating to the entire EU showed similar dynamics.
The EU executive body points out that due to the pandemic this month the collection of data from different countries was slower, while in Italy restrictions on activities completely prevented data processing, and that this could make the indicator less precise.
The most marked collapses of confidence concerned the Netherlands (-32.6 points), Spain (-26), Germany (-19.9), and France (-16.3). The component of the industry index marked a drop of 19.2 points, without however falling below the record low of March 2009. Production expectations are ballasted, explains the Commission, but orders are also went down.
Consumer sentiment fell by 11.1 points, reflecting general expectations on the economy but also on the financial situation of families. According to the analysis, the propensity to make significant purchases has undergone a marked deterioration.