Economic confidence in the 17-member eurozone fell for the sixth consecutive month in August, the European Commission said on Tuesday, amid growing fears over an economic slowdown.
The economic sentiment indicator (ESI) for the eurozone fell by 4.7 points in August to 98.3 points, whereas the monthly indicator, based on business and consumer surveys, slipped 5.0 points to 97.3 in the wider European Union (EU).
According to the surveys, confidence in all the business sectors fell in August in the eurozone, with the biggest losses seen in financial services and among consumers.
The broad decline in confidence in financial services is easy to understand given the recent financial markets' turmoil in Europe.
Worsening confidence among consumers, meanwhile, reflected "pessimism about the future general economic situation and higher unemployment fears." the European Commission said in a report.
Among the seven largest economies in the EU, confidence in Germany reported the strongest fall, down 5.7 points, followed by the UK, down 5.6 points. Spain, after a severe falling in July, reported only a trivial decline of0.3 points in August.
In the meantime, the business climate indicator (BCI) for the eurozone in August also fell for the sixth month in a row, the Commission said in a separate survey.
BCI illustrates business sectors opinions towards future market prospects.
Although the current level of the indicators remained comparatively high, the commission warned that the steady fall over the past five months suggested that the euro area industry had entered "a phase of growth moderation."