In February 2023, the consumer confidence index improved from 100.9 to 104.0. The positive evolution concerned all the index components: the economic climate increased from 107.6 to 114.5, the future one grew from 108.6 to 113.4, the personal one rose from 98.6 to 100.5 and, finally, the current climate bettered from 95.7 to 97.6.
With reference to the business confidence climate, the index (IESI, Istat Economic Sentiment Indicator) remained stable at 109.1.
The confidence climate in manufacturing held steady at 102.8. Both expectations on production and assessments on order books improved (the balance of the first variable moved up from 4.6 to 5.2, the one of the second recovered from -8.0 to -7.8), while inventories were considered to have slightly built up (the related balance passed, in fact, from 3.4 to 4.1).
The confidence climate in construction shrunk from 158.8 to 157.2. Among confidence-building variables, the assessments on order books/construction went down, while expectations on employment improved (the related balances passed from 2.5 to -0.4 and from 7.3 to 8.1 respectively).
The market services confidence index worsened from 104.2 to 103.3. Some concerns stemmed both from assessments and expectations on order books (the related balances passed from 8.8 to 7.8 and from 6.8 to 4.8, respectively); conversely, favourable signals came from assessments on business trend (the balance of the variable rose from 8.4 to 8.6).
The retail trade confidence index climbed from 110.6 to 114.6. Strong optimistic hints, in particular, were reported on the future volume of sales and firms overall gave positive assessments also on current business activity (the balances of the variables passed from 12.6 to 22.6 and from 29.6 to 35.2, respectively). However, inventories continued to increase (the related balance, in fact, went up from 2.7 to 6.1).