Euro zone consumer confidence inches up in December

BRUSSELS Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:11am EST

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone consumer confidence edged marginally higher in December compared to the previous month, the first estimate from the European Commission showed on Thursday.

The Commission said consumer confidence in the 17-member euro zone rose to -26.6 this month from a November figure of -26.9.

Consumer spending accounts for more than half of euro zone economic output, but with the effects of the debt crisis cutting disposable income, households have been in no position to contribute much to economic recovery.

In the wider 27-member European Union, consumer sentiment worsened a fraction, to -24.1, compared to a revised -23.8 last month.

EU leaders want to drive economic growth and employment after nearly three years of crisis and austerity, but the bloc has little immediate cash to invest and faces the longer-term challenge of falling productivity and an ageing workforce.

For European Commission data click on: here

(Reporting By Jan Strupczewski)