Consumer confidence suggests further delay in EU’s recovery

Chris Papadopoullos
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CONSUMER confidence in two of the major four Eurozone economies remains subdued, new data shows.

Italian consumer confidence continued to edge down this month. The confidence climate index produ­ced by official data office Istat slipped to a nine-month low of 100.2 in November from 101.3 in October.

The 100 score marks the level of confidence in the year 2005. The set of data suggests Italy may have failed to escape the recession that official data confirmed it had entered between April and September.

However, the news was not all negative – consumer sentiment toward the economy rose from 101.5 to 103.9.

Tuesday also saw the introduction of employment law reforms aimed to add flexibility to the jobs market.

Meanwhile, consumer confidence in France surprised on the upside in November, but was still below levels consistent with strong economic growth.

The French statistical office Insee said yesterday its confidence index reached its highest level for eight months, rising to 87 in November from 85 in October.

France’s GDP grew by 0.3 per cent in the three months to September, above economists’ expectations and more than the Eurozone as whole, which saw only sluggish growth of 0.1 per cent.

“While on the household side developments in France have been fairly encouraging of late, it remains doubtful that significant private spending growth can be sustained in the absence of a more broad-based recovery,” said Robert Kuenzel from Daiwa Capital Markets.