Rome, Italy (4E) – Italian business confidence surprisingly stayed firm in May, despite expectations for a slight drop, according to a report from the statistical office ISTAT released Wednesday.
The manufacturing confidence index stood at 99.7 in May, unchanged from the reading in April. Economists had predicted the index to decline to 99.6.
April’s figure saw a mild downward revision from 99.9, marking was the highest level since June 2011, when it was put at 100.9.
Wednesday’s data showed that sentiment on inventories, production expectations and order books fell in May.
The index for the construction dropped to 72.9 in May from 74.6 in the previous month, but expectations for employment rose.
The measure for transportation and storage rose to 107.9 from 99.5, and the index for business services and other services climbed to 98.6 from 94.0. However, the gauge for tourism services dropped to 68.1 from 94.7, as well as in information and communication, the think-tank said.
The index for retail trade confidence increased to 98.7 from 98.0. The gauge for overall business confidence dropped to 86.9 in May compared with April’s 88.8.