The European Commission’s eurozone “economic sentiment” index which fell sharply from 99.6 in March to 97.1 in April – the lowest level since August 2005. With the indicator regarded as good guide to growth trends, the unexpectedly steep decline pointed to a marked deceleration in economic activity.
Still, eurozone countries show varying performances. Economic sentiment in Spain, which is at risk of a serious house price correction, has fallen to the lowest level since late 1993. But sentiment in Germany and France remains relatively robust – falling to the lowest levels since February 2006 and December 2005 respectively.
As can be seen from the above chart, Italy's economy continues - like Venice - to sink steadily, while the two eurozone economies which had the strongest housing booms head steadilyoff the cliff, with Spain having poll position, and by quite a long margin
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