August 28, 2017 8:17 am by Nicholas Megaw
Economic confidence in Italy is at its highest level in almost 10 years, according to official data, as recovery in the eurozone drives renewed optimism in the currency area’s third-largest economy.
The country’s overall index of economic sentiment increased from 105.6 to 107 for August, its highest level since November 2011. Last month’s figure was also revised upwards from 105.5.
The sub-index for manufacturing has been particularly strong in recent months as companies benefit from rising demand across the continent, and this month it rose from 107.7 to 108.1, also a post-crisis high.
Consumer sentiment, in contrast, had fallen back over the last year as economic growth in the eurozone’s third-largest economy lags behind the rest of the continent. However, it too picked up in August, blasting expectations to jump from 106.7 to 110.8, its highest level since last December. Economists had expected only a slight increase to 106.9.
Every component of the consumer climate index improved over the month, according to Istat.
While Italy’s growth rate is still below the eurozone average, data released earlier this month showed it improved to its strongest level since the depths of the eurozone crisis in the second quarter.