Italy: Business sentiment sours at the beginning of the year
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—fell to 99.2 in the first month of the year from December’s 100.7.
January’s result came on the back of a notable deterioration in sentiment in both the market services and retail trade sector more than offsetting more limited improvements in sentiment in the manufacturing and constructions sectors. The notable decrease in confidence in the retail trade sector was due to worse assessments on current sales and expectations on the future business activity, while sentiment in the market services sector weakened on diminished assessments on order books and on the business trend. On the other hand, confidence in the manufacturing sector ticked up on stronger assessments of order books and brighter production expectations. Lastly, confidence in the construction sector gained ground, on improved employment expectations.