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Press release

Consumer and business confidence

In December 2018, the consumer confidence index worsened from 114.7 to 113.1. All the components lowered: the economic one from 131.5 to 129.4, the personal one from 108.9 to 107.0, the current one from 111.5 to 110.0 and, finally, the future one from 118.7 to 116.0. The balance concerning expectations on unemployment grew from 22.8 to 29.6, while both the perceptions on inflation for the last 12 months and the expectations on inflation for the next 12 months decreased (from -4.6 to -6.5 the former, and from -2.2 to -6.0, the latter).

As regards the business confidence surveys, the composite business confidence climate index (IESI, Istat Economic Sentiment Indicator) decreased from 101.0 to 99.8.

The confidence index in manufacturing declined from 104.3 to 103.6. Production expectations improved (balance from 9.1 to 9.8), while assessments on order books worsened (balance from -7.6 to -9.7). With regard to the assessments on inventories, the relative balance changed from 3.9 to 4.5.

The confidence index in construction diminished for the second month in a row going down from 132.5 to 130.3. Assessments on order books/construction plans and employment expectations worsened (balance from -17.5 to -19.6 and from -7.5 to -8.3, respectively).

The market services confidence index decreased from 101.7 to 99.5. The balances concerning assessments on order books and assessments on business trend changed for the worse (from 5.6 to 0.5 and from 7.0 to 4.0 respectively) while, on the contrary, the expectations on order books improved (balance from 3.7 to 5.1).

The retail trade confidence index rose from 102.1 to 104.8. Both the assessments on current sales and the expectations on the future ones bettered (balances from 4.5 to 7.4 and from 19.5 to 22.8 respectively), while the balance relating to the assessments on volume of stocks diminished (from 10.4 to 8.5). The confidence index bettered both in the large scale distribution (from 104.0 to 106.6) and in the small and medium scale distribution (from 100.2 to 101.1).

Reference period: December 2018

Date of Issue: 21 December 2018

Next release: 30 January 2019

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