ECONOMY

Economic confidence in eurozone rises above projections in October, EC data show

Economic confidence in the euro-area rose more than economists forecast in October, adding to signs the single-currency bloc’s recovery is gaining momentum.

An index of executive and consumer sentiment increased for a sixth month to 97.8 from 96.9 in September, the European Commission in Brussels said on Wednesday. That exceeded the median estimate of 97.2 in a Bloomberg News survey of 31 economists.

The euro-area economy in what the European Central Bank says is a “gradual” recovery after exiting a recession in the second quarter. It is struggling with the legacy of the debt crisis, and data tomorrow will probably show that unemployment remained at 12 percent in September, close to a record high.

Within the index, the gauge of industrial sentiment advanced to minus 4.8 in October from minus 6.6 in September, the commission said. Consumer confidence rose to minus 14.5 from minus 14.9, matching an initial estimate published on Oct. 23. Services confidence weakened to minus 3.7 from minus 3.2.

Sentiment in the financial-services industry, which isn’t factored into the economic confidence number, slipped to 8.6 from 11.3. [Bloomberg]