Italian Consumer Confidence Falls to Record Low on Recession

Italian consumer confidence fell to a record low this month as households grew more pessimistic about the economic outlook after the country’s fourth recession since 2001 entered its second year.

The confidence index fell to 84.8, the lowest since the series begin in 1996, from a revised 86.2 in October, the national statistics office, Istat, said in Rome today. The reading was lower than the median forecast of 86.3 in a survey of 13 economists by Bloomberg News.

The Italian economy shrank for a fifth quarter in the three months through September as export gains failed to offset the effects of weak domestic demand. The contraction contrasted with signs of a recovery in Germany and France, the region’s two biggest economies.

Italy entered into recession in the second half of 2011 as the global slowdown aggravated the effects of Prime Minister Mario Monti’s austerity measures aimed at taming a public debt of 2 trillion euros ($2.55 trillion).

Both the government and the central bank expect a recovery in the second half of next year amid increasing exports. Economists and businessmen are less optimistic about a pick up of domestic demand as unemployment tops 10 percent.

A recovery in consumer spending depends on the government’s policies, Tod’s SpA Chairman Diego Della Valle told reporters at a luxury conference in Rome on Nov. 16. The shoemaker reported a fall in domestic sales of 14 percent in the third quarter.

Istat originally reported an October confidence reading of 86.4.

-- Editors: Alan Crosby, Andrew Davis

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