Italy: Business confidence gets gloomier at the start of the year
January 30, 2019
The National Institute of Statistics (Istat)’s composite business confidence indicator (Clima di Fiducia delle Imprese Italiane, IESE)—which covers the manufacturing, construction, market services and retail sectors—edged down to 99.2 points in January from December’s revised 99.7 points (previously reported: 99.8 points), marking the worst reading in nearly two years and a half.
January’s reading was the result of deteriorating sentiment in the manufacturing, retail trade and market services sectors, which more than offset improved sentiment in the construction sector. Confidence in the manufacturing sector deteriorated on less favorable assessments of order books and weaker production expectations, while confidence in the retail sales sector lost ground due to a deterioration in the outlook on both of current and future sales.. Meanwhile, confidence in the market services sector fell as well, as the outlook on order books and assessments of the business trend continued to worsen. On the other hand, confidence in the construction sector strengthened, supported by a rebound in employment expectations, counteracting a deterioration in assessments on both order books and construction plans.
Italy Fixed Investment Forecast
FocusEconomics panelists expect fixed investment to increase 2.7% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. For 2020, panelists see fixed investment growing 2.0%.