Summary: Euro-zone households more optimistic in September; index rises 1.3 points to -4.0; still at elevated level; euro-zone sovereign bond yields slightly lower.
EU consumer confidence plunged during the GFC and again in 2011/12 during the European debt crisis. After bouncing back through 2013 and 2014, it fell back significantly in late 2018 but only to a level which corresponds to significant optimism among households. Following the plunge which took place in April 2020, a recovery began a month later, with household confidence returning to above-average levels in March 2021.
Consumer confidence improved in September according to the latest survey conducted by the European Commission. Its Consumer Confidence index recorded a reading of -4.0, a level which is could reasonably described as elevated. The reading was above the -5.9 which had been generally expected as well as August’s figure of -5.2. The average reading since the beginning of 1985 is -11.6.
The report was released on the same day as the FOMC’s September policy meeting and sovereign bond yields declined a touch in major euro-zone bond markets on the day. By the end of it, German and French 10-year bond yields had each slipped 1bp -0.33% and +0.01% respectively.