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Economy in Brief

Italy’s Consumer Confidence and Retail Sales Trends Continue to Drop
by Robert Brusca October 22, 2008

Italy’s consumer sentiment trend and retail sales trends continue to show each other the way lower. While some speak disparagingly about consumer surveys, it is clear that the consumer’s habits are bang in line with what the consumer is telling various surveyors.

In the quarter to date (two-months into Q3), nominal sales are still rising. But on the more important inflation-adjusted basis sales are dropping at a -3.4% annual rate - that’s quite weak.

Nominal sales trends have bee negative over three, six and twelve month horizons. In August weakness seems to have hit all the major categories together. While July showed a nominal sales gain, it is now clear that it was not heralding a period of better growth ahead That much has become clear in August.

Italy remains a trouble EMU economy, led by consumer sector weakness.

Italy Retail Sales Growth
  mo/mo % At annual rates
Nominal Aug-08 Jul-08 Jun-08 3-MO 6-MO 12-MO YrAgo Q-2-Date
Retail Trade -0.5% 0.6% -0.4% -1.1% -1.5% -0.7% 0.7% 0.9%
Food Bev & Tobacco -0.3% 0.6% -0.1% 1.0% 0.3% 0.9% 1.5% 2.4%
Clothing&Furniture -6.1% 6.3% -3.0% -12.2% -10.7% -3.7% -0.3% 12.8%
Total Real Retail -0.7% 0.3% -0.9% -5.1% -5.4% -4.6% -0.9% -3.4%
Retial Ex auto -0.7% 0.3% -0.9% -5.1% -5.4% -4.6% -0.9%  
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