Bert Colijn, Research Analyst at ING, notes that consumer confidence dropped sharply in February to the lowest level since December 2014 but also mentioned that there are reasons for optimism. Key quotes: “Consumer confidence in the Eurozone has plummeted to -8.8 in February from a reading of -6.3 the month before. Analysts had only expected a decline to -6.7, but concerns about the strength of the global economy and financial markets, geopolitical risks and a looming Brexit have clearly spooked the European consumer more than expected.” “This is the worst reading since December 2014, which is the month before Mario Draghi announced QE.” “It looks like the ECB will once again announce further measures of stimulus next month, but it is unlikely that consumer confidence will rebound just as sharply as it did in early 2015.” “While negative news about the global economy and political risks like Brexit result in pressure on consumer confidence, there are also still reasons for optimism among European consumers. Real wages are rising relatively fast as low inflation strengthens the wallets of consumers across the continent, while steady decreases in unemployment also help disposable income improve. This means that while the external environment remains very turbulent, it could well be that consumption is not affected too badly as Eurozone disposable income continues to recover.” For more information, read our latest forex news.