Economic confidence is increasing across Europe, except in Greece, Malta, Romania and the UK which all saw a drop in sentiment in November, according to research by the European Commission.
The UK dropped 2.9 points compared to October on the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI), based on surveys of the manufacturing, service, retail trade and construction sectors, as well as consumer studies.
With a dip of 0.5 ESI points compared to last month, Romania - one of the poorest countries in Europe - has seen a lower deterioration in confidence than the UK.
The only other country to show less confidence than Britain was Greece, which lost 5.3 ESI points.
All other Member States reported a general improvement in sentiment, with the sharpest rise in the Netherlands, up 6.3 points, and modest improvements in Poland, (+2.9), Italy, (+2.5), France, (+2.2), Germany, (+1.7), and Spain, (+1.4).
Across the EU the ESI rose to 1.9 points, and 2.7 points in the eurozone, marking an increase in both areas for eight consecutive months since its trough in March 2009.
The index remains significantly below the long-term average, however.
Confidence in industry, which increased by a point in the EU and by 2 points in the euro area, was the main contributor to the overall month-on-month improvement.
Improved optimism in Germany and France offset declines in the UK and Spain.
Stock levels were broadly stable in the large countries, apart from the UK where there is concern the level is above what is desirable.
Confidence among consumers stayed stagnant in the EU, and improved by just one point in the euro area.
Confidence in financial services - which is not included in the ESI - fell in both regions, mainly following weak demand over the past quarter and bleaker demand expectations for the next three months in 2010.
Managers in most Member States expect to cut their investment volumes by 5% in the EU and 6% in the euro area in 2010 as compared to investment in 2009, according to the six-monthly industrial investment survey, which was carried out in October and November of 2009.
Read the Commission's full report here.
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