Italy: Business sentiment weakens in August
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 98.9 points in August from July’s 101.2 points, which had marked the best result in nine months.
August’s reading came on the back of a broad-based deterioration in all the sectors covered by the index. Confidence in the construction sector decreased on less favorable assessments of order books and construction plans. Moreover, confidence in the market services sector edged down, as assessments of order books and the business trend became gloomier, and expectations on future order books declined. In addition, sentiment in the manufacturing sector dipped despite improved assessments on order books, as expectations on production levels worsened. Lastly, confidence in the retail trade sector lost some ground, despite improved assessments regarding current sales, as expectations on future sales worsened.