Italy: Business confidence deteriorates in March
The National Institute of Statistics (Istat)’s composite business confidence indicator (Clima di Fiducia delle Imprese Italiane, IESE)—which covers the manufacturing, construction, services and retail sectors—dropped to 106.0 points in March, below February’s revised 108.5 points (previously reported: 108.7).
The weakening came mainly on the back of a deterioration in sentiment in the manufacturing and market services sectors, in which expectations on future sales fell significantly. On the other hand, confidence in the construction sector improved on higher employment expectations. Sentiment in the retail trade sector was broadly unchanged, as expectations on future sales declined offsetting improved assessments of current sales.