Italy Business Confidence Hits Lowest since 2009


Business confidence in Italy fell this month to its lowest level since November 2009, an index from the Istat data agency showed on Monday, as the Eurozone’s third economy suffers through a recession.

The index fell to 91.5 points from 92.1 points in January, Istat said.

The decrease is the third in a row and it confounded analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires who had been expecting an increase to 92.3 points.

Istat said its survey showed that business chiefs were more pessimistic than before over orders but that their production forecasts had improved.

The index went down to 93.5 from 93.8 for consumer goods, to 91.3 from 91.6 for intermediary goods and to 88.6 from 90.1 for investments goods.

Italy entered recession at the end of 2011, with its economy shrinking by 0.2 percent in the third quarter and by 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter.