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Retail

Italy Business And Consumer Morale Rise In December, Despite Covid

Morale amongst Italian businesses and consumers both rose in December, data showed on Wednesday, despite an aggressive second wave of the coronavirus and government lockdown measures.

National statistics institute ISTAT's manufacturing confidence index rose to 95.9 in December from 90.9 in November, hitting its highest level since February.

The reading was well above a median forecast of 90.5 in a Reuters survey of seven analysts.

ISTAT's composite business morale index, combining surveys of the manufacturing, retail, construction and services sectors, came in at 87.7 in December, compared with November's reading of 83.3.

Consumer confidence rose this month to 102.4 from 98.4 in November, beating a median forecast of 98.5 in Reuters' poll.

Highest Toll In Europe

More than 69,000 people have died of the coronavirus in Italy since its outbreak emerged on 21 February, the highest toll in Europe and the fifth highest in the world.

The euro zone's third largest economy rebounded by 15.9% in the third quarter from the previous three months after plunging in the first half of the year due to a coronavirus lockdown.

However gross domestic product is expected to shrink again in the final quarter due to the resurgence of the virus and the government's restrictions to try to curb it.

Rome's official forecast is for a full-year drop in gross domestic product of 9% in 2020 followed by growth of 6% in 2021.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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