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Italian business confidence reaches highest level since 2011

Market-services and retail sectors lead rise

29 January, 11:12
Italian business confidence reaches highest level since 2011 (ANSA) - Rome, January 29 - Business confidence in Italy rose to its highest level this month since late in 2011, Istat said Wednesday.

The national statistics agency said its business-confidence index climbed to 86.8 points this month from 83.8 in December.

The optimism is linked to signs the country has emerged from its longest recession since World War II. Gross domestics product was flat in the third quarter of last year after eight consecutive quarters of negative growth and it was forecast to return to positive growth in the last three months of 2013. In 2014 Italy is expected to register a full year of growth, albeit modest.

Istat said the rise in business confident was spurred by Italy's retail and market-services sectors. The market-services confidence index rose to 88.5 points from 80.9, while the retail-trade confidence index went up to 93.5 from 90.7.

However, confidence in the manufacturing and construction sectors fell this month, Istat said.