Data shows that consumer confidence in the European Union has fallen to its lowest level since the end of last year.
According to Bloomberg, the European Commission’s monthly index dropped 1.1 points to -7.6, the lowest level since December and a steeper drop than the -6.8 forecasted by economists.
These numbers comes as last month the President of the European Central Bank (ECB) Mario Draghi “urged governments to take fiscal measures to supplement the central bank’s monetary stimulus and reinvigorate the eurozone economy.” Those comments were prompted by the ECB’s announcement that it was launching a stimulus package consisting of a lower main deposit rate and a new bond-buying program. The region’s interest rate was also cut 10 points to negative 0.5 percent — a record low that could possibly get slashed further, depending on inflation.
“In view of the weakening economic outlook and the continued prominence of downside risk, governments with fiscal space should act in an effective and timely manner,” Draghi said at a press conference at the time.
And earlier this year, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said economic growth around the world has slowed down, with Christine Lagarde saying that the world’s economy hasn’t been as strong since the fund’s last forecast update in late January of last year.
Meanwhile in the U.S., consumer confidence slipped a bit in August, coming in at 135.1, while the July number was 135.8. Yet at the same time, those numbers were better than the expected 129.5. And the way consumers gauged financial situation was positive, up to 177.2 from 170.9 month-over-month — near the peak seen at the end of 2000.
“While other parts of the economy may show some weakening, consumers have remained confident and willing to spend,” said Lynn Franco, the Conference Board’s senior director of economic indicators.