(Bloomberg) -- Euro-area economic confidence slowed for a fifth month, further overshadowing the region’s outlook. 

A sentiment gauge published by the European Commission slid to 93.3 in September, from a revised 93.6 a month earlier. Economists had predicted an even bigger decline. 

The slump was driven by the sub-indicator for consumers which dropped markedly, while services inched lower and industry improved. 

Third-quarter indicators have been dire so far, with PMIs last week signaling the private-sector activity may be contracting in the euro zone and its top two economies. 

That economic weakness wasn’t enough to stop the European Central Bank from hiking interest rates earlier this month. With inflation still far from the institution’s 2% target, policymakers have indicated that they are set to stick with a record 4% deposit rate for some time. 

--With assistance from Joel Rinneby and Barbara Sladkowska.

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