Euro zone sentiment improves more than expected in September

FILE PHOTO: Shoppers are reflected in a shop window as they walk along Oxford Street on the last Saturday before Christmas, in London December 21, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone economic sentiment improved more than expected in September, data showed on Tuesday, mainly thanks to a rise in optimism in the services sector despite concerns about a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The European Commission’s monthly survey showed sentiment in the 19 countries sharing the euro rising to 91.1 points this month from 87.5 in August, beating market expectations of an improvement to 89.0 points.

The gains were mainly a result of sentiment in services, the euro zone economy’s biggest sector producing some two thirds of gross domestic product, improving to -11.1 from -17.2. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a rise to only -15.7.

Optimism in industry rose to -11.1 from -12.8, falling short of expectations of a rise to -10.0 and consumer sentiment was in line with expectations rising to -13.9 from -14.7.

Inflation expectations in industry improved to -0.6 from -2.1 but continued to fall among consumers, easing to 12.5 from 16.9 in August.

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski, editing by Marine Strauss