Euro zone consumer confidence drops sharply – flash estimate

Euro zone consumer confidence drops sharply – flash estimate

Consumer confidence in the euro zone and across the EU was showing a sharp drop in May 2010, according to a flash estimate, the European Commission said in a May 20 media statement. There was a sharp drop in the euro area aggregate, down to -17.5 after an April figure of -15, while confidence declined markedly among EU consumers as well, down to -14.7 from -12.3 in April. Major U.S. and European stock indexes fell between two and three percent in trading on May 20 as nervous investors worried about the European debt crisis, growing regulation of financial markets, and some downbeat U.S. economic data. The value of the euro also declined, the Voice of America said. US economic reports showed slight declines in the job market and future economic growth. Investors were already concerned about future economic growth after German officials banned a type of financial transaction and called for a tax on financial markets. According to the BBC, at close in Frankfurt the Dax index fell by 2.02 per cent, while in Paris the Cac 40 index ended down 2.25 per cent. Investors in London also suffered a fall in confidence with the FTSE 100 closing 1.65 per cent lower, while in New York the Dow Jones index was 2.15 per cent down. German Chancellor Angela Merkel sparked investor fears on May 19 by warning that the euro was "in danger". Germany also moved to ban a type of short-selling blamed for creating market instability. But, the BBC said, investors were unimpressed, with some expressing concerns that the persistent debt problems, sparked earlier this year by Greece, could push the global economy into another recession. Previously, Bulgaria's National Statistical Institute said that in April 2010 that the country's consumer confidence index had risen 6.4 point above the January level. The change was a measure of people feeling less pessimistic about the coming 12 months' financial situation for households, overall economic situation and unemployment, news agency Focus said.

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