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Italy consumer confidence stable, business optimism up in February

Consumer confidence in Italy remained stable in February, while business optimism rose during the month, the National Institute for Statistics said.

The consumer confidence index reached 115.6 in February, from 115.5 in January. The economic component worsened to 139.9 from 141.0 while the future component fell to 119.8 from 120.9 in the previous month. According to the survey, concerns regarding unemployment rose, with the corresponding index reaching 16.4 in February from 16.0 in the prior month. The balance on inflation expectations in the next 12 months worsened to negative 1.9 from 22.0 on the consumer side.

The composite business confidence climate index improved to 108.7 in February from 105.6. Manufacturing confidence index for Italy rose to 110.6 from 109.9 while the construction confidence index jumped to 132.0 from 129.2 during February. Production expectations and construction plans dimmed during February, according to the survey.

Meanwhile, the market services confidence index edged up to 109.9 in February from 105.8, with all components improving.

Business confidence in retail trade lowered with the corresponding index dropping to 105.5 in February from 108.3. Expectation of future sales were down in this category.