Italy Business Confidence Rose Before Italian Election

Italian business confidence rose this month before the Italian election that produced a hung parliament and sent bond yields soaring.

The manufacturing-sentiment index rose to 88.5 in February from a revised 88.3 the previous month, Rome-based national statistics institute Istat said today. Economists had predicted a reading of 88.4, according to the median of 14 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. The index is based on a poll of about 4,000 businesses and was carried out in the first half of February.

Italy’s vote on Feb. 24-25 saw the leading bloc headed by Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani failing to win a majority in both houses of Parliament, making it difficult to form a government able to deal with the slump in the euro region’s third-biggest economy. Italy will contract again this year and unemployment will continue to rise in 2014 to reach 12 percent, European Commission forecasts released on Feb. 2 show. Italy’s gross domestic product will fall 1 percent this year after a 2.2 percent decline in 2012, the Brussels-based commission said.

The confidence index rose as executives grew optimistic about the outlook for orders and production, today’s report showed.

(See TOP CRIS for more on Europe’s debt crisis.)
Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.
LEARN MORE