A flash estimate of the consumer confidence indicator in March increased sharply in both the EU (by 2.6 points to minus 1.8) and the euro area (by 3.0 points to minus 3.7) compared to February, according to figures issued Monday by the European Commission.
Confidence strengthened for the fourth straight month and the indicator jumped to its highest level since July 2007, indicating that consumers are willing to spend more money in the coming months which will help economy recovery in the euro zone.
Analysts say sentiment was boosted by falling oil prices, which increases the real income of consumers. Quantitative easing measures by the European Central Bank (ECB), which began earlier this month, also played a big role in boosting consumer confidence.
Quantitative easing is the latest move launched by the ECB to buy government and private bonds with the goal of lowering interest rates, increasing inflation and kick-starting economic growth.