Italy Business Confidence Declines in July Amid Recession

Italian business confidence declined this month more than economists forecast as executives became more concerned that the country’s economic recession will deepen in coming months.

The manufacturing-sentiment index dropped to 87.1 from a revised 88.7 in June, Rome-based national statistics institute Istat said today. Economists had predicted a reading of 88.5, according to the median of 14 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Istat originally reported a reading for June business confidence of 88.9.

Italy’s economy shrank for a third straight quarter in the first three months of 2012 as the region’s debt crisis worsened and Prime Minister Mario Monti’s austerity measures pushed the country deeper into its fourth recession since 2001.

Industrial output in the euro region’s third-biggest economy probably fell 1.7 percent in the three months through June from the previous quarter as orders dropped, Rome-based employers lobby Confindustria said in a note yesterday.

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