Italian consumer confidence falls
Index down in December after rising in November23 December, 11:09
The national statistics agency said its consumer-confidence index has dropped to 96.2 points, the lowest level since June, compared to 98.2 in November.
Consumer confidence has seesawed in recent months as the country struggles to emerge from its longest recession since World War II - gross domestics product was flat in the third quarter of this year after eight consecutive quarters of negative growth.
November's rise in the consumer-confidence index came after a fall in October which, in turn, had ended a four-month run of consecutive increases. Consumer confidence is important because people tend to spend less if they are pessimistic about the economic climate, which makes it harder for the economy to return to growth.