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Economy in Brief

Italian Business Confidence Drops Like Stone
by Robert Brusca December 30, 2008

Italian business confidence has been weakening but has now hit extreme proportions. We are day by day getting confirmation that the economic signals are every bit as bad as the worst of our expectations for recession. We are looking at recession forces much more like 1973-75 and 1981-82 than like in 1990 or 2001.

For Italian business, the readings across categories are the worst we have seen since 1996 except for inventories which are not the highest seen but still high readings and clearly into the undesirable range.

Domestic and foreign readings are showing extreme weakness as the year draws to a close.

Italy ISAE Business Sentiment
          Since Oct 1996
  Dec-08 Nov-08 Oct-08 Sep-08 Percentile Rank
Biz Confidence 66.6 71.6 76.4 81 0.0 147
TOTAL INDUSTRY
Order books & Demand
Total -54 -45 -38 -28 0.0 147
Domestic -58 -47 -39 -31 0.0 147
Foreign -54 -44 -33 -28 0.0 147
Inventories 9 8 6 9 83.3 14
Production -46 -37 -29 -20 0.0 147
INTERMEDIATE            
Order books & Demand            
Total -68 -52 -42 -31 0.0 147
Domestic -69 -53 -40 -33 0.0 147
Foreign -67 -50 -38 -32 0.0 147
Inventories 7 10 9 8 75.9 19
Production -58 -43 -29 -22 0.0 147
INVESTMENT GOODS
Order books & Demand
Total -62 -52 -39 -18 0.0 147
Domestic -64 -56 -44 -32 0.0 147
Foreign -56 -45 -27 -21 0.0 147
Inventories 9 11 6 15 68.4 27
Production -50 -41 -28 -12 0.0 147
CONSUMER GOODS
Order books & Demand
Total -36 -32 -33 -27 0.0 147
Domestic -39 -32 -34 -29 0.0 147
Foreign -42 -36 -32 -28 0.0 147
Inventories 10 5 3 2 80.8 14
Production -28 -27 -29 -22 2.5 146
Total number of months: 147
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