World Economy

Italy Business, Consumer Morale Fall Steeply

Italy Business, Consumer Morale Fall SteeplyItaly Business, Consumer Morale Fall Steeply

Morale among Italian businesses and consumers fell sharply in August, further clouding prospects for the stuttering economy, data showed on Monday, Reuters reported. National statistics institute ISTAT’s manufacturing confidence index fell to 101.1 in August from 102.9 in July to hit its lowest level since February 2015, national statistics bureau ISTAT reported. That was below all forecasts in a Reuters survey of six analysts which pointed to a more modest decline to 102.5. Data earlier this month showed the eurozone’s third largest economy stagnated in the second quarter, underperforming the rest of the currency bloc and suggesting the modest recovery in place since the start of last year may be petering out. ISTAT’s composite business morale index, combining surveys of the manufacturing, retail, construction and services sectors, dropped even more steeply in August to 99.4 from 103.0, also posting its lowest level since February last year. Consumer confidence fell to 109.2 in August from 111.2 the previous month, hitting its lowest level since July 2015. Reuters survey of analysts had pointed to a reading of 110.5.