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Economy in Brief

Italian Consumer Confidence Edges Higher Again
by Robert Brusca  November 26, 2013

Italian consumer confidence rebounded in November, but it is still in a bad way. The level of the index has a rank percentile value of 23.7% which means it has been lower only about 24% of the time and that is not a good standing. The overall situation it is rated is even worse- its rating has been worse only 14% of the time.

The chart shows the steep drop in confidence in the recession/financial crisis and a disappointing recovery thereafter. When the rest of the world was recovering, Italy's confidence plunged even lower. It subsequently engaged in a relatively sharp rebound from its 2012 lows, but has since stalled. This month's gain is a small one and marks the attempt by confidence to reassert an uptrend.

Despite its abject weakness, the current situation did improve in November, rising to -125 from -130. But the outlook for the current situation fell to -4 from +11 and the likelihood of unemployment had edged a bit higher this month as well.

The household situation which has a dismal 12% standing for its performance over the past 12-months is a bit stronger with a 22% standing for expected conditions over the next 12-months. Conditions to make major purchase are still poor but have improved in the month.

Italy is still a very difficult case in EMU. It is struggling to do better, but its progress is a mixture of fits and starts. This month hints a progress, but not much.

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