Business sentiment improving in Italy, consumers less optimistic

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ROME, March 26 (Xinhua) — Business sentiment in Italy inched higher in the latest survey from the country’s National Statistics Institute (ISTAT) released Friday, in contrast to the index for consumer confidence, which slipped lower.

The survey for March showed business confidence improved to 93.9 points, up from 93.3 in the previous survey. Consumer sentiment, meanwhile, slipped to 100.9 points, compared to 101.4 points previously, according to ISTAT.

All areas of the consumer sentiment index saw declines, with views on the general economic climate, future prospects for the economy, personal circumstances, and predictions about personal circumstances in the future all falling. The drops were all by less than 1 point, except for sentiment about economic prospects, which fell to 90.2 compared to 91.5 previously.

For business confidence, the results were more mixed, with a big rise in the construction index, to 147.9 points from 141.9 previously, but a fall in the index for commercial sentiment, from 93.7 points to 90.9, ISTAT reported.

The dichotomy between overall business sentiment and that from consumers mirrored findings released earlier this week from research firm Censis and Eudaimon, a consultancy. The study released on Wednesday showed that the majority of Italian companies were optimistic about the country’s post-pandemic recovery, while most workers held a more pessimistic view.

Based on surveys of business owners and consumers, both of the ISTAT indexes are compared to a 100-point baseline level from 2010. Enditem

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