World Economy

Italy’s Jobless at 18-Month High

Italy’s Jobless at 18-Month HighItaly’s Jobless at 18-Month High

Italy’s unemployment rate stayed at the highest in a year and a half, reflecting households’ concerns about the growth outlook in the euro region’s third-biggest economy. The jobless rate remained at 12% in December, after the reading for the previous month was revised upwards from a preliminary 11.9%, statistics agency Istat said Tuesday in Rome. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 13 analysts called for a fall to 11.8%. Youth unemployment rose to 40.1%, also the highest since June 2015. Consumer confidence declined in January as households were unsatisfied with the current situation and grew pessimistic about the economic outlook, Istat said in a separate report last week. The trend was compounded by the latest data on consumption, with retail sales falling in November the most since March on a monthly basis. In mid-January the International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for Italy’s gross domestic product this year and next, citing “elevated political and banking sector uncertainties.” 


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