Italy consumers confident after two-year gap

CONSUMER confidence in Italy has finally rebounded this month, responding to the Eurozone’s fragile recovery from an 18-month recession.

According to official statistics released yesterday, Italian consumer confidence is in positive territory for the first time since August 2011, just after the European Central Bank’s last attempt to hike interest rates.

The headline index for confidence now stands at 101.1, above the crucial 100 mark that signals confidence among a majority of consumers. The index for expected performance stands at 100.4.

Holger Schmieding of Berenberg said: “Given the new political uncertainties and the looming risk of a one point VAT increase shortly, the further brightening of the mood of consumers in September is remarkable.”

German consumer confidence, which has been more buoyant in recent years, also rose in September, according to GfK. The index hit a six-year high, reaching levels previously seen in the third quarter of 2007, before the financial crisis.

On Germany, Schmieding concluded: “Concerns about the euro crisis and perceived inflation risks persist but do not dampen overall urge to go shopping.”