Italy Consumer Confidence Falls Before Christmas SeasonLorenzo Totaro and Kevin Costelloe
Manufacturing morale slightly down after production fall
’Bad news’ ahead of shopping period, says consumer group
Italian consumer confidence unexpectedly fell this month as shoppers start to plan their Christmas gift expenditures.
The household sentiment dropped to 114.3 from a revised 116.0 in October, statistics agency Istat said Monday in Rome. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 12 analysts called for a November reading of 116.5.
“It’s bad news ahead of Christmas,” said Massimiliano Dona, head of the National Consumer Association. “The worsening views of the household budgets and of the intentions for durable-good purchases don’t lead us to be optimistic with regard to the shopping season.”
The Italian economy has expanded for 13 straight quarters, rebounding from the longest recession since the World War II. Still the European Commission predicts Italy will have the lowest economic growth rate in the 19-nation euro through 2019. The country’s unemployment rate was unchanged in September at 11.1 percent with youth joblessness at 35.7 percent.
Manufacturing sentiment was little changed in November, slipping slightly to 110.8 from 110.9 the month before, Istat report showed. The latest data on industrial output, orders and sales signaled the risk of slowdown in the final months of the year.
In September production plunged the most this year, dragged down by lower output of intermediate goods such as basic metals. In the same month orders and sales fell respectively by 3.9 percent and 1.2 percent from August.