European economic confidence hits historic low

November 27th, 2008 - 8:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Berlin, Nov 27 (DPA) European economic sentiment slumped to an historic low in November, a key indicator released Thursday showed, amid signs that the slowdown in the global economy is gaining momentum.The European Commission’s closely watched economic sentiment indicator for the 15-member eurozone fell more-than-forecast by 5.1 points to 74.9 in November from 80.4 in October.

The indicator now stands at its lowest level since August 1993.

Its release follows the commission’s announcement Wednesday of a 200-billion-euro ($259 billion) stimulus package aimed at helping the European economy to limp through the current economic downturn which has been triggered by the world’s financial crisis.

Economists had forecast that the indicator would post a more modest fall to 78 in November.

Either way, the November fall in the index is likely to add to the pressure on the European Central Bank to deliver another hefty rate cut at its meeting next week.

The indicator showed the economic mood in the 27-member European Union as dropping to its lowest level since January 1985, falling 6.7 points to 70.5.

The drop was led by a big 8.8-point fall in Britain, which has been badly hit by the global credit crunch and plummeting house prices.

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