Italy business confidence highest since May 2008

Rome, Oct 28 (IANS/AKI) Italy’s business confidence rose to the highest level since May 2008 as businesses ramped up orders amid increased optimism over the fate of Europe’s fourth-largest economy.

‘There is a marked recovery in orders, foreign ones in particular,’ Rome-based research centre Isae said Wednesday in a statement. ‘There is also a slight increase in companies’ expectation on production.’

The Isae institute’s manufacturing-sentiment index climbed to 99.8, from a revised 98.6 in September.

Italy’s economic output last year fell 5.1 percent prompting companies to lay off workers and put a freeze on hiring. The economy grew 0.5 percent in the second quarter.

The country’s unemployment in August showed some signs of easing when it declined to 8.2 percent, the lowest in a year, as exports helped buoy the fragile economic recovery.

Isae polled 4,000 companies between Oct 1 and Oct 19.

–IANS/AKI

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