BRUSSELS Euro zone consumer confidence rose in February, figures released on Wednesday showed.
The European Commission said a flash estimate that euro zone consumer morale improved slightly to -23.6, up from -23.9 in January.
But the improvement was not as great as that forecast by a Reuters poll of 25 economists, who had predicted a rise in February to -23.1.
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 also improved marginally, rising to -21.6 from -21.9 a month before.
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(Reporting By Ethan Bilby, Editing by Robin Emmott)