Italy: Business confidence regains some lost ground in March
March 27, 2019
The National Institute of Statistics’ (Istat) composite business confidence indicator (Clima di Fiducia delle Imprese Italiane, IESE)—which covers the manufacturing, construction, market services and retail sectors—rose to 99.2 points in March from February’s revised 98.2 points (previously reported: 98.3 points), which had marked the worst reading since February 2015.
March’s reading was the result of improving sentiment in the construction and market services sectors, which more than offset weaker sentiment in the manufacturing sector. Confidence in the retail trade sector, meanwhile, remained unaltered. Confidence in the construction sector jumped on more favorable assessments of order books and employment expectations. Meanwhile, confidence in the market services sector increased as well, as both assessments of current order books and expectations on future business trends improved. On the other hand, confidence in the manufacturing wosened, dragged down by worse assessments of order books and deteriorated production expectations.
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%.