Italy consumer and business morale rise in November, in boost for new government

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ROME, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Morale amongst Italian businesses and consumers jumped in November, data showed on Friday, in a boost for Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s new right-wing government.

National statistics institute ISTAT’s manufacturing confidence index rose to 102.5 in November from 100.7 in October, defying expectations for a decline and posting the highest reading since August.

The median forecast in a Reuters survey of 9 analysts pointed to 99.6.

ISTAT’s composite business morale index, combining surveys of the manufacturing, retail, construction and services sectors, climbed to 106.4 in November, compared with October’s reading of 104.7.

Consumer confidence leapt even more strongly this month to 98.1 from 90.1 in October, far outstripping a median forecast of 91.0 in Reuters’ poll and reaching its highest level since August.

Meloni, who was sworn in as prime minister last month, inherits a welter of problems facing the euro zone’s third largest economy.

Gross domestic product will contract in this quarter and the next, the Treasury forecasts, as sky-high energy costs hit companies and households.

This week she passed an expansionary 2023 budget with some 35 billion euros of extra spending and tax cuts.

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