Italy: Business confidence reaches highest level in almost three years
January 31, 2011
In January, the manufacturing sentiment index published by ISTAT rose to 103.6 points. The figure was a slight improvement compared to the 103.1 points recorded in December and confirmed the upward trend in business sentiment in place since March 2009. The result came in broadly in line with market expectations that business sentiment would rise to 103.5 points, and marked the strongest result since March 2008, thus confirming the notion that business confidence has returned to pre-crisis levels. According to ISTAT, opinions about the current business conditions remained broadly unchanged compared to the previous month, even though export orders and production levels improved. Business confidence was in particular driven upwards by improving expectations for new orders and for production levels, as businesses see an incipient recovery in the first part of the year. Accordingly, expectations on the general economy improved as well and are now at their highest levels since August last year.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions