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European economic confidence improves

BRUSSELS, Jun 29 – European business and consumer confidence firmed in June for the third month running albeit from depressed levels, according to an EU survey on Monday.

The European Commssion\’s economic sentiment indicator for the 16-nation eurozone rose to 73.3 points in June from 70.2 points, climbing further away from a record low 64.6 points reached in March.

Meanwhile, in the 27-nation European Union the indicator rose to 71.1 points from 67.9.

"The increase observed at sector and country level is mainly driven by improving expectations, as the main economic actors seem to be gaining confidence that the crisis is easing," the commission said in the report.

"In a consistent development, employment expectations picked up in industry and services and consumers\’ unemployment expectations decreased," it added.

The improvement was driven by higher consumer and service sector confidence in particular, and to a lesser degree industry as well.

Most EU countries saw improvements with Germany, France and Britain showing strong gains among the bigger states.

Meanwhile, the commission\’s separate business climate indicator also improved, rising to a negative 2.97 points in June from a negative 3.11 points.

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