Europe continues to see a slowdown in economic growth, as witnessed by recent data in the Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area which fell for the fifth month in a row in July 2011.
The current level of the indicator remains comparatively high, but the steady fall observed since March indicates that euro-area industry has entered a phase of growth moderation.
The drop in the BCI in July reflects primarily weakening production expectations and worsening assessments of production trends observed in recent months.
These developments went along with managers being more pessimistic about overall order books and export order books. Appraisal of stocks continued to increase from historic lows.
The Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN) conducts regular harmonised surveys for different sectors of the economies in the European Union (EU) and in the applicant countries. They are addressed to representatives of the industry (manufacturing), the services, retail trade and construction sectors, as well as to consumers.
These surveys allow comparisons among different countries’ business cycles and have become an indispensable tool for monitoring the evolution of the EU and the euro area economies, as well as monitoring developments in the applicant countries.