Italy: Consumer confidence plunges to lowest level on record
May 23, 2012
In May, the index of consumer sentiment published by ISTAT plunged to 86.5 points from 88.8 points in April (previously reported: 89.0 points), marking its lowest level since the series started in January 1996. The result contrasted market expectations, which had anticipated the index to inch up to 90.0 points. The result was broad-based, with a majority of subcomponents of the index deteriorating compared to the previous month. In particular, households' assessment of the general economic situation deteriorated markedly, as the recessive effects of the austerity measures implemented by the Monti administration are hindering growth. That said, while the assessment on the current personal financial situation deteriorated compared to April, respondents expressed slightly less pessimistic expectations regarding their future financial situation, leading to an improvement in prospects for purchases of durable goods.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions