Italian PM lauds return of consumer confidence

Rome: Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi hailed official data that showed business confidence at its highest level since 2007 and consumer confidence at a 13-year high.

“For the first time in many years there is a profound change in the climate in Italy,” Renzi said on Wednesday after the data was published by central statistics office Istat.

“As Istat reports, consumer and business confidence is back to pre-crisis levels. Italy is believing in itself, and the government is on the case,” Renzi said.

Istat’s consumer confidence index climbed to 116.9 points in October, up from 113 points in September while the business confidence index rose for the third consecutive month to 107.5 points from 113 points in September.

In a further sign of optimism, Italy may exceed expectations this year and post economic growth of up to 1 percent, central bank governor Ignazio Visco said.

Confidence in the retail sector reached its highest level since Istat began publishing an index in January 2003.