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Italy consumer confidence improves, business confidence falls in March

Consumer confidence in Italy increased in March as current conditions and expectations regarding the future economic climate improved, but business optimism declined as confidence in manufacturing and market services fell from the previous month.

The consumer confidence index rose to 117.5 in March from 115.7 in February. The economic component improved to 141.9 from 140.1. The current climate index rose to 115.1 from 113.0, and the future climate index climbed to 121.1 from 119.8. The balance on inflation expectations for the next 12 months declined to negative 8.9 from negative 1.9.

The composite business confidence climate index decreased to 106.0 in March from 108.5 in the prior month, with confidence in manufacturing dropping to 109.1 from 110.4 and market services confidence declining to 107.2 from 109.8.

Confidence in the construction sector increased to 132.6 from 132.0, while retail trade confidence remained stable at 105.3.