Confidence among both executives and consumers in the euro zone fell to the lowest level in 15 months in January as the region worried that the slowdown in the US economy would spill over into Europe.

The European Commission index, based on a survey of 25,000 consumers and 50,000 companies, fell to 103. This is the lowest figure since October 1999 and is down from 103.3 in December.

Among manufacturers, new orders and exports have weakened, and production expectations have declined, the report indicated.

The overall economic confidence index for the 15-nation European Union fell to 103.2 in January from 103.4 in December.