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Investors Nervous About Italy Prospects

Investors Nervous About Italy ProspectsInvestors Nervous About Italy Prospects

Recent economic indicators have painted a mixed picture of the health of the Italian economy, but analysts said it would not take much for jittery investors to turn sour on the country’s economic prospects.

The next big milestone on Italy’s economic calendar surround the process for the country’s 2019 budget plan, which will get underway starting in about a month. In the meantime, economic indicators continue to trickle out, Xinhua reported.

On Friday, the country’s National Statistics Institute, ISTAT, reported that inflation for August checked in at 1.6%, slightly lower than forecast and higher than a year ago. Often, economists look at rising prices as an indication of rising demand for products.

Over the last two weeks, Italy has had weaker-than-expected economic growth and a downward tick on consumer confidence. Weak industrial production figures have cast doubt on growth prospects going forward. Unemployment levels rose slightly in the last quarter, with extra weakness among young workers.

At the same time, however, the export sector remained strong and the national debt was mostly unchanged, assuaging the concerns of investors fearing ambitious government spending plans would swell the government deficit.

And Fitch, the United States-based ratings agency, kept the same investment-grade rating for Italian government bonds, though it did lower its long-term outlook for the country.

“The indicators have been a mixed bag,” Javier Noriega, chief economist with Hildebrandt and Ferrar, told Xinhua. “Investors remain a little nervous about what the new government will do, but so far we haven’t seen anything that will make them run. But it wouldn’t take a lot to make that happen.”

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