Italy: Consumer confidence virtually unchanged ahead of March elections
The consumer confidence index released by the National Institute of Statistics (Istat) ticked up to 115.6 points in February from 115.5 points in January. The reading beat less optimistic market expectations of 115.0.
February’s reading reflected an improvement in consumers’ assessments of their personal current and future expected economic situation as well as in their perceptions of the current general economic situation. Moreover, consumers’ willingness to buy big-ticket items also increased. On the other hand, consumers’ expectations on the future general economic situation and on unemployment worsened.
The weakening of consumers’ assessments of the future economic situation of the country is probably due to households expecting a hung parliament as a result of the elections on 4 March.