Recent Updates

  • Euro area: Flash Consumer Confidence (Apr)
  • Ireland: Producer & Wholesale Price Indexes (Mar)
  • UK: Capital Issuance (Mar)
  • Spain: Trade in Constant Prices, Trade in Goods (Feb)
  • Germany: Federal Budget, PPI, Monthly Tax Revenue (Mar), Short-term Indicator (Feb), Public Sector Finance (Q4)
  • Colombia: Imports (Feb); Brazil: IPCA-15 (Apr)
  • Turkey: Non-Domestic PPI, House Sales, Central Government and Domestic Debt by Instrument, External Debt by Lender, Domestic
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief


Italian Consumer Confidence Moves Sharply Higher

by Robert Brusca September 28, 2009

Getting better - Italian consumer confidence rose sharply higher in September. After bottoming in August of 2008, confidence made a large 4.3point jump in August 2009 and in September of 2009 it has added a further advance of 1.8 points. The rise in August had been the 13th largest monthly gain on record. Having another significant rise (55th largest out of 215 total.) is a sign that the improvement has legs. Now you have to go back to July of 2002 to find a higher reading as the rise in September brings the consumer sentiment reading above its previous local peak at end 2006.

Upbeat on the future - Italians rate their confidence overall in the 79th percentile of its range since 1992 and better than the readings that are produced 62% of the time (its rank standing). Italian consumers now rate the overall situation as in the 77th percentile of its range at a raw reading of -58. Over the next twelve months (the raw reading is +6) but as a percentile it stands in the 69th percentile of its range. Note the difference in Italian consumers and their expectations. At a raw reading of -58 the overall situation is rated in the 77th percentile of its range a rather high percentile standing for such a sour (net!) negative reading. When it comes to looking ahead, however, the raw reading of +6 stands in the 69th percentile of its range, a roughly comparable relative position. Clearly this suggests that Italian consumes are prone to optimism. But the percentiles of course adjust for that; the raw readings do not, but they are instructive. It is interesting ant a people whose capital city is replete with ruins of its past greatness are able to shake off any semblance of an empire past and look so optimistically to the future.

Flies in the ointment or outlook - Unemployment, however, is still feared as the unemployment expectation reading is still in the 69th percentile of its range. The unemployment expectations worsened month to month with 23% (up from 20) worried that it might rise sharply. Those fearing a slight increase fell to 39% from 40%.. Stable unemployment is now expected by 28% up from 26%. But only 3% (down from 5%) of Italians think unemployment will fall. It’s an odd set of responses on unemployment prospects to occur is such another upbeat assessment of the future.

Upbeat on spending - The household financial situation was in the 46th percentile of its range over the past 12 months while expectations are in the 69th percentile over the next 12-months. The environment for making purchases is in the 42nd percentile while in the next twelve months it is expected to rise to the 96th percentile.

High hopes - Obviously for Italy hopes are high. Current measures have improved but there is still a lot that is wrong. For whatever reason Italian consumers have ratcheted up their expectations especially as to the future environment for making purchases. The news is good news, but it is heavily dependent on confidence, per se. While Germany seems to be getting more concerned about its future and the potential for unemployment to rise in Italy, glee over the outlook is spreading amid a still sour outlook for unemployment prospects. Still, the overall reading is at its best level since mid-2002.

Italy ISAE Consumer Confidence
  Since Jan 1992 Rank
  Sep
09
Aug
09
Jul
09
Jun
09
Percen
tile
Rank Max Min Range Mean percen
tile
Consumer Confidence 113.6 111.8 107.5 105.5 59.8 79 127 94 33 110 62.9%
Last 12 months
OVERALL
SITUATION
-58 -62 -68 -68 71.2 68 -22 -147 125 -70 68.1%
PRICE TRENDS -42 -42 -48 -40.5 11.7 208 4 -48 52 -9 2.3%
Next 12months
OVERALL
SITUATION
5 1 2 -8 69.8 12 24 -39 63 -9 94.4%
PRICE TRENDS 9.5 7.5 1.5 8.5 19.4 92 49 0 49 11 56.8%
UNEMPLOYMENT 17 11 8 15 69.1 7 38 -30 68 -1 96.7%
HOUSEHOLD BUDGET 6 0 1 0 27.7 178 40 -7 47 16 16.4%
HOUSEHOLD FIN SITUATION
Last 12 months -33 -34 -40 -37 46.9 89 -7 -56 49 -31 58.2%
Next12 months -1 -2 -2 -4 69.4 86 14 -35 49 -3 59.6%
HOUSEHOLD SAVINGS
Current 80 79 60 60 100.0 1 80 20 60 43 99.5%
Future -16 -21 -30 -25 68.1 106 -1 -48 47 -19 50.2%
MAJOR Purchases
Current -40 -37 -40 -39 42.1 100 -7 -64 57 -39 53.1%
Future 4 4 4 3 96.8 3 7 -87 94 -64 98.6%
Total number of months: 213
close
large image