Recent Updates

  • South Africa: Tourism & Migration (Jun)
  • Germany: Outstanding Debt Securities (Jun), Federal Budget, Monthly Tax Receipts (Jul)
  • Luxembourg: Employment and Unemployment (Jul)
  • Euro area: Construction Output (Jun)
  • Finland: Government Finance (Jul); Iceland: HICP (Jul) Sweden: Housing Starts and Completions (Q2)
  • Russia: Business Cycle Indicators (Jun); Tajikistan: CPI, Macroeconomic Indicators (Jul), Employment, Wages (Jun);
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

Italy’s Consumer Confidence Erodes
by Robert BruscaMarch 21, 2008

The chart on the left shows that consumer confidence has been weaker briefly in 2004 and then again back in 1994. But at the pace that confidence is falling it may be there soon. Italy’s Sentiment indicator is in the bottom 6% of its range since 1999 but it is not far from its recession low in 1994 and it is still plunging. A number of components are on lows for this period. In 1998 a number of the components cease to be available even though the headline and other component measures do go back further in time. Still, it is clear from the longer-horizon chart as well as from the shorter-horizon table that looks only at a recovery period that the current responses by survey participants are not much like those in expansion periods and are getting to look more like they do in downturns. Other Euro area countries may be more resilient but Italy is fighting to maintain its growth. Unemployment expectations are in the top 8% of where they have been since the start of 1999. The household past, current and future financial situations all are rated as the worst in this period since 1999. The overall situation is in the bottom 6%; only 17 percent of respondents think it’s a good time to make a major purchase. See the table, the percentile rankings are telling.

Italy ISAE Consumer Confidence
          Since January 1999
  Mar
08
Feb
08
Jan
08
Dec
07
%tile Rank Max Min Range Mean
Consumer Confidence 99 102.8 102.2 106.7 6.1 108 127 97 30 111
Last 12 months
OVERALL SITUATION -84 -76 -79 -69 0.0 111 -22 -84 62 -55
PRICE TRENDS -17.5 -18 -23 -21.5 40.8 61 4 -32 36 -15
Next 12months
OVERALL SITUATION -35 -31 -39 -35 6.3 108 24 -39 63 -13
PRICE TRENDS 23 22 24.5 28 38.1 55 49 7 42 24
UNEMPLOYMENT 6 5 -2 4 92.3 6 9 -30 39 -5
HOUSEHOLD BUDGET -2 -3 1 9 2.8 110 33 -3 36 14
HOUSEHOLD FIN SITUATION
Last 12 months -55 -53 -46 -44 0.0 111 -7 -55 48 -29
Next12 months -16 -12 -14 -14 0.0 111 14 -16 30 -1
HOUSEHOLD SAVINGS
Current 54 61 53 60 79.1 11 63 20 43 39
Future -45 -42 -35 -37 0.0 111 -9 -45 36 -23
MAJOR Purchases
Current -50 -44 -42 -47 16.7 89 -15 -57 42 -40
Future -65 -61 -53 -61 25.8 65 -42 -73 31 -62
Total number of months:111
close
large image