The EU's economic sentiment indicator rose in November and is now back on the level reported in September. This is attributed to a pick-up in share prices and improved consumer confidence. However, managers in industry revised their production expectations downwards leading to a decline in the industrial confidence indicator in November. The indicator is, however, in line with its long-term average for the Euro zone.

Consumers' and industrialists' views on the economic outlook diverge. The consumer confidence indicator and the construction indicator rose, but the industrial confidence indicator and the retail confidence indicator fell compared with the previous month. Share prices, too, which are one of the components in the economic sentiment indicator, increased by 12.1%, both in the EU and in the Euro zone.

Troubled outlook for industry.

Managers of industry in all Member States were again less optimistic in November than in recent months. The industrial confidence indicator for the EU fell below its long-term average in November, whereas in the Euro zone it was at the same level as the average for the last 10 years. Production expectations were revised down, but less so than in October. The assessment of the level of order books too was more negative and stood below the long-term mean in the Community in November. For the Euro zone, the downturn has been less marked and is still above the long-term mean. The views on export order books fell on roughly the same scale.

Consumers optimistic.

Consumers believe the general economic situation is much better and the indicator increased by three points compared with last month. A similar view is taken on the expected general economic situation. The assessments of the expected general economic situation were...

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