June 21, 2018 / 2:44 PM / 5 months ago

Euro zone consumer confidence unexpectedly falls in June

FILE PHOTO - People walk through one of the main pedestrian shopping areas, Preciados street, in central Madrid, Spain, June 14, 2018. REUTERS/Paul Hanna

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone consumer confidence fell more than expected in June, figures released by the European Commission showed on Thursday, adding to signs in the second quarter of a cooling of the bloc’s economy.

While the Commission did not give details on the reason for the deterioration, protectionist talk by the United States administration and fear of a trade war with China and the European Union have spooked markets worldwide.

The downward pressure on economic growth in the quarter is also a headache for policy makers at the European Central Bank set to end a stimulus program by the year-end.

The Commission said a flash estimate showed euro zone consumer morale dropped to -0.5 in June from +0.2 in May. This was below expectations of a decline to 0.0 in a Reuters poll of 30 economists.

In the European Union as a whole, consumer sentiment fell to -1.3, the Commission added.

Last week, output at euro zone factories for April showed a larger than expected decrease. Next Thursday, business confidence data for the euro zone as well as for the bloc’s largest economy Germany will be released.

For European Commission data click on:

here

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

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