BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Economic sentiment in the 19 countries sharing the euro currency slipped in June but by less than expected, as consumers and managers in the construction sector became more downbeat.
The falling sentiment numbers confirm a cooling off of the euro zone economy in the second quarter of 2018, just as the European Central Bank prepares to end its bond buying scheme.
The European Commission’s Economic Sentiment Index, released on Thursday, fell to 112.3 points in June compared to 112.5 in May but was above the 112.0 expected in Reuters poll of 34 economists.
Sentiment among managers in manufacturing and services was unchanged from May and also above expectations.
Economists have noted that, while growth in the bloc has run out of steam in the second quarter, it should pick up in the second half of the year.
The European Central Bank expects the euro zone economy to grow by 2.1 percent in 2018, according to its latest forecast.
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Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop