BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone economic sentiment improved more than expected in September, reaching levels last seen in July 2007, with optimism rising in all sectors except financial services, data from the European Commission showed on Thursday.
The survey showed that sentiment in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose to 113.0 in September from 111.9 in August. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a rise to 112.0.
Sentiment in industry rose sharply to 6.6 this month from 5.0 in August and optimism in the services sector, which produces more than two thirds of the euro zone’s gross domestic product improved to 15.3 from 15.1.
Consumers became more optimistic too, with the indicator rising to -1.2 from -1.5, high above the long-term average of -12.5, and sentiment in retail trade jumped to 3.0 from 1.6.
Only in the financial services sector the mood worsened to 18.8 from 25.6 in August, the Commission data showed.
Inflation expectations picked up as more consumers expected prices to rise over the next 12 months, with the indicator rising to 14.2 from 11.6 in August.
Also in industry, manufacturers expected their selling prices to rise with the index rising to 10.5 from 8.1.
The Commission’s overall business climate index, which points to the phase of the business cycle, rose to 1.34 in September from 1.08 in August — its highest reading since April 2011 when it was at 1.35.
Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek