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Photograph: Photo by G0DeX, used under CC BY

Economic sentiment in Croatia in September 2016 was the highest since the country joined the European Union in mid-2013 on the back of a sharp increase in consumer confidence, a survey conducted by the European Commission showed on Thursday.

The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) for Croatia increased by 1.4 points in September from the previous month, reaching an all-time high of 121 points. The indicator rose for the fourth month in a row and slightly exceeded the previous high of 120.9 points recorded in December 2015.

Consumer confidence improved the most, jumping by 6 points to -18.4 points. Services confidence and retail trade confidence also saw marked improvements, gaining 1.1 and 0.9 points respectively. Services confidence reached 25.9 points and retail trade confidence 10.6 points.

Construction confidence rose by a modest 0.2 points to -8.3 points.

A deterioration was recorded only in industry, whose indicator slid by 0.2 points to 3.3 points.

In the European Union, the ESI rose by 1.8 points to 105.6 points. Confidence improved the most in the construction sector, with the corresponding indicator increasing by 3.9 points. Marked improvements were also recorded in industry and retail trade, with their respective indicators gaining 1.9 and 1.5 points. Consumer confidence and services confidence also improved, by 1.3 and 0.7 points respectively.

Among leading non-euro economies, sentiment strongly improved in Poland, by 2.0 points, and modestly in the United Kingdom, by 0.6 points.

Economic sentiment in the 19-member euro area also improved in September, following a deterioration in August, its ESI increasing by 1.4 points to 104.9 points. Confidence improved the most in industry, whose indicator rose by 2.6 points. Retail trade confidence jumped by 1.6 points, construction confidence by 0.8 points and consumer confidence by 0.3 points. Services confidence remained broadly flat, gaining 0.1 point.

Among leading euro-area economies, the ESI rose most strongly in the Netherlands, by 1.7 points, and in Germany, by 1.6 points. A marked improvement was also recorded in France, whose indicator increased by 0.9 points.

In a separate report, the European Commission said that the Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area increased markedly in September, by 0.42 points to +0.45 points. The rise was the result of a considerable improvement in managers' assessments of past production and the level of overall order books.

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