Signs Italy’s economic recovery is for real


In another indication Italy’s economic recovery is truly gaining traction, business confidence rose to a 10-year high in August, according just-released figures from the country's statistics office ISTAT.

The announcement came as Italy’s economy registered its tenth straight quarter of growth, further boosting optimism that the upswing is sustainable.

Its GDP expanded 0.4 percent in the three months through June, the same as in the first quarter, the Rome-based statistics agency said. The latest quarterly figures are upbeat, but Italy still trailed the Eurozone average of 0.6 percent in the quarter.

All components used to measure the economic confidence climate registered increases in August.
Italian news: Economy recovering
Strong manufacturing, new orders and shipments are helping fuel Italy’s recovery.

According to the ANSA news agency, Italy's Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan expressed satisfaction with the figures, but noted the ruling PD government has to press on along its path of reform to “make the recovery structural”.

Leading the trend in optimism is confidence in the manufacturing sector, an outlook supported by the country’s rising GDP, which is now growing at a 1.5 percent pace.

Italy and the rest of the Eurozone have benefitted from an expanding global economy and a recovery in the single currency area. ISTAT said growth was supported by rising industrial production and services, while agriculture contracted in the second quarter.

According to Confcommerce, the largest business association in Italy, the recent data “is an important signal that seems to confirm the recovery”.

“The fourth-consecutive increase in household confidence is an indicator of a possible short-term improvement in consumption that is still paving the way for true growth,” said the association.

Carlo Rienzi, president of the consumer advocate group Codacons, termed the range of recent indicators “undoubtedly positive”.

“The growth of the various components of the confidence index makes a great deal of hope for autumn consumption by households," said Rienzi.

Unemployment remains a severe challenge, but that too is showing signs of improvement, according to a survey by Bloomberg, with the jobless rate projected to average 11.2 percent this year, the lowest since 2012.