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Italian business confidence at highest level since Sept 2011

Istat index reaches 89,5 due to upbeat manufacturing, services

27 March, 11:41
Italian business confidence at highest level since Sept 2011 (ANSA) - Rome, March 27 - Italian business confidence has climbed to its highest level in two and a half years, national statistics agency Istat said Thursday.

Istat said its business-confidence index climbed to 89.5 points in March, the highest since September 2011.

This compared to 87.9 in February and signalled the fifth consecutive monthly rise.

The upturn was due to improvements in the manufacturing and service sectors, Istat said.

Business confidence in the construction and retail sectors continued to decline. Italy is slowly emerging from its longest postwar recession.

The downturn ended in the second half of last year, but the recovery is weak and Italy's gross domestic product grew just 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2013.

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