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Retail

Italian Consumers More Upbeat Ahead Of Election, Business Morale Sinks

Morale amongst Italian businesses fell in August amid surging energy costs but consumer confidence jumped as the country gears up for an election following last month's collapse of Mario Draghi's government.

National statistics institute ISTAT's manufacturing confidence index declined to 104.3 in August from 106.4 in July, data showed on Friday, hitting its lowest level since March last year.

The data was broadly in line with a median forecast of 104.4 in a Reuters survey of 10 analysts.

ISTAT's composite business morale index, combining surveys of the manufacturing, retail, construction and services sectors, fell to 109.4 in August, compared with July's reading of 110.7.

Elsewhere, energy-intensive industries in Italy are modifying their production to save energy as they struggle with soaring bills, a top official at the ecological transition ministry said.

Consumer Confidence

However), consumer confidence rose unexpectedly this month to 98.3 from 94.8 in July, returning to June's level and coming in far above a median forecast of 92.5 in Reuters' poll.

Draghi resigned last month after several ruling parties refused to continue supporting his national unity government, ushering in elections set for Sept. 25.

Italian gross domestic product rose a stronger-than-expected 1.0% in the second quarter from the previous three months, but most analysts expect a sharp slowdown during the rest of the year, as surging energy costs hit companies and households.

In May of this year, morale amongst Italian businesses and consumers rose, with service industries regaining confidence despite the ongoing war in Ukraine while manufacturers remained downbeat.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM – your source for the latest retail news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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