Economic sentiment in the eurozone in January declined slightly, but remained close to a maximum for 17 years. Data indicate that dynamic economic growth will continue in 2018.
The composite index of business and consumer confidence in the eurozone economy in January fell to 114.7 points from a revised 115.3 points in December, according to the European Commission.
This was the result of a slight decline in sentiment in the retail sector, where the sentiment indicator in January fell from 6 to 5 points, and in the service sector, where it fell from 18 to 16.7 points.
At the same time, the confidence index of industrial enterprises remained at a record high of 8.8 points, reached in December.
The consumer confidence index in January rose from 0.5 to 1.3 points.
The eurozone ended 2017 with strong economic growth. The GDP of 19 eurozone countries in the IV quarter increased by 0.6% compared with the previous quarter, preliminary data showed the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat).
The growth was recorded for the 19th consecutive quarter.
At the end of 2017, the eurozone's GDP as a whole grew by 2.5%. Last year's GDP dynamics turned out to be better than economists and the European Central Bank (ECB) expected. These are the maximum growth rates in a decade.
Despite strong economic growth in the eurozone, inflation remains restrained. ECB President Mario Draghi said last week that serious monetary stimulus was still needed in the eurozone.
The euro last week jumped to a three-year high against the dollar. A stronger European currency could be an obstacle to economic recovery if it restricts exports and puts pressure on prices.