In December 2020, the respondents became more optimistic again, so the consumer confidence bettered from 98.4 to 102.4. Particularly, looking at the index components, the economic climate increased from 79.8 to 86.0, the personal one from 104.7 to 108.0, the current one from 97.4 to 99.2 and, finally, the future one from 99.3 to 106.6.
As for the business confidence climate, compared to the previous month, the index (IESI, Istat Economic Sentiment Indicator) showed a new significantly improvement, rising from 83.3 to 87.7.
The confidence index in manufacturing increased from 90.9 to 95.9. The opinions of surveyed firms on both the current trend of order books and the future developments in production got better and the related balances recovered from -28.6 to -25.7 and from -9.2 to 0.4, respectively. Moreover, firms indicated a lowering of the stock level and consequently the balance of the variable went down from 3.0 to 1.2.
The confidence index in construction eased from 136.8 to 136.0. In particular, the balance on the order books/construction slightly increased from -17.2 to -17.0 and the one on the employment expectations diminished from -2.1 to -3.3.
The market services confidence index increased from 74.8 to 78.2 backed by optimism about future developments in order books (the related balance suddenly recovered from -25,2 to -11.8). However, they gave less favourable assessments both on the current order books and on the current business trend (the balances of these variables worsened, in fact, moving from -19.4 to -21.9, the first and from -22.7 to -23.1, the second).
The retail trade confidence index confirmed its negative trend, moving from 94.9 to 88.5. More specifically, the assessments on the current business activity worsened strongly, while the expectations on the future sales improved again (the related balances varied from 9.6 to -13.6 and from -10.8 to -1.4, respectively). Finally, the surveyed firms indicated a new and significant build up of inventories (the related balance got on from 7.5 to13.4). The fall in confidence did not affect both distribution channels: the index dropped from 102,0 to 90.6 in the large scale distribution, but rose from 78.7 to 82.4 in the small and medium scale one.