Italy: Business confidence reaches highest level in nearly three years
March 27, 2014
In March, the National Institute for Statistics (Istat) composite business confidence indicator (IESE, Istat Economic Sentiment Indicator), which covers the manufacturing, construction, service and retail sectors, increased from 88.2 points in February to 89.5 points. March's increase marked the highest level since August 2011. The improvement was driven by stronger readings in manufacturing and services, which reached the highest levels since July 2011 and August 2011 respectively. Conversely, construction marked its lowest reading in nine months, while retail recorded a slight deterioration over the previous month. Panelists expect fixed investment to contract 0.8% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. For 2015, panelists see fixed investment growing 1.9%.
Author: Dirina Mançellari, Senior Economist