Italy: Consumer confidence hits two-year high in December
December 22, 2017
The consumer confidence index released by the National Institute of Statistics (Istat) rose to 116.6 points in December, up from a revised 114.4 points in November (previously reported: 114.3). The reading marked the highest print since January 2016 and comfortably overshot market expectations of 114.0 points.
December’s reading reflected an improvement in consumers’ assessment of the current general economic situation as well as in their expectations about the future economic situation. Moreover, consumers’ assessment of their personal economic situations also improved, as did their expectations on unemployment. Furthermore, their outlooks on the possibility to save and to buy durable goods in the future were also improved. On the other hand, their expectation on their personal future economic situations deteriorated.
The strengthening of consumers’ assessments of the current and future economic situations of the country could be due to the consolidation of the recovery. However, the likelihood of a hung parliament coming out of March’s elections and thus of a political gridlock could weigh on consumers’ spending going forward.