Optimism takes hold of EU, Romanians still pessimistic

The economy in the European Union (EU) states is beginning to grow again. Consumers are hoping that the economic crisis will at last be over this year. The Consumer Climate index for the EU clearly reflects this trend and gained a total of 0.8 points in the first quarter of 2014. It currently stands at 8.4 points. These are the results of the GfK Consumer Climate Europe in 14 European states, according to a press release.
In Romania, the consumers do not expect any improvement in the situation.
All in all, there was little movement in consumer sentiment at the beginning of 2014. The low level which persisted throughout most of last year, continued to dominate in the first quarter. Economic expectations are currently at -17.2 points. In December, the figure was -14 points and a year before that it was -13.6 points.
Income expectations present a similar picture with the indicator currently at -8.2 points. This means a minimal improvement of 0.7 points in relation to December. In March 2013, the indicator was in fact slightly better at -5.4 points.
Willingness to buy is currently at -13.8 points, which represents a slight increase of 1.7 points from December. A year ago, the figure was -18.3 points. However, the green shoots of recovery are still very fragile and many uncertainties still have to be overcome. France and Italy want to move away from systematic austerity measures and start to take on more debt again in order to help the economy get back into gear through more investment. Another risk is low inflation. Many experts already fear a period of deflation in the eurozone – in other words a decline in prices, as was already the case in Spain this March.

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