The economic sentiment indicator (ESI) rose to 93.4 points from 92.9 points in February, with the months of January and December (at 95.1 units) marking the highest value in the last 12 months.
The EC attributes the positive figure to an increase in services (to 6.6 points from 1.9 points in February), retail trade (to 2.7 points from 1.9 points last month) and construction (down to 49.8 points from -59.7 points a month before).
Consumer confidence, meanwhile, dropped to 74.4 points from 73.3 points in February, while the confidence indicator in industry declined to 6.7 points against 5.1 points a month before.
According to the EC survey, overall ESI in the eurozone dropped to 107.9 points in March against 108.0 points in February, but rose to 109.1 points from 108.9 point in the EU. The EC report attributes the marginal decline to unchanged confidence levels in industry, retail and construction, while rising consumer confidence was offset by waning confidence in the services sector.
The ESI rose only in Germany (by 0.9 points), among the major EU economies.