The economic sentiment indicator (ESI) of the euro zone rose in December to its highest levels since last May, while the data for the European Union as a whole reached its best reading since April 2023, with Italy and Spain as the large economies with better evolution at the end of the year.

Specifically, the indicator for the euro zone rose in December to 96.4 points from 94 in November, its best reading since May 2023, while that of the EU reached 95.6 from 93.8 points in November, at highest levels since April.

In the EU, the improvement in ESI was driven by increased confidence between consumers and retail, services and construction, while confidence in industry remained largely unchanged, the European Commission highlighted.

Among the largest economies of the Twenty-seven, the ESI improved in Italy (2.6), Spain (2.4) and Germany (2.4), while it decreased in the Netherlands (-1.1) and, to a lesser extent , in France (-0.5), while the indicator remained practically stable in Poland (0.2).

In the case of the Spanish economy, the ESI reading for December improved to 101.4 points from 99 in November, thus achieving its best result since August of last year.

This increased confidence in the economy was driven by greater optimism seen in industry, services and consumers, while confidence worsened in retail and construction.