Euro zone sentiment barely changed in May, inflation expectations ease

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BRUSSELS, May 30 (Reuters) – Euro zone economic sentiment barely changed in May as slightly greater optimism in services and among consumers offset an ebbing of confidence in industry, data showed on Monday.

The European Commission’s monthly survey showed economic sentiment in the 19 countries sharing the euro inched higher to 105.0 in May from 104.9 in April. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a reading of 104.9 in May.

Sentiment in industry fell to 6.3 points from 7.7 in April, but optimism in services, the economy’s biggest sector, rose to 14.0 from 13.6 in April. Consumer confidence improved to -21.1 from -22.0.

Consumer inflation expectations, which reached an all-time high in March, continued to decline, slipping to 45.6 in May from 50.0 in April and were also lower among manufacturers at 56.1, down from a record high of 60.0 in April.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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