Italian business men are slightly more optimistic this month than they were last month. This is the only real significance that can be attached to the latest reading on the ISAE business confidence index. Equally you could say that they were unduly short-term pessimistic last month given all the financial turbulence that was being commented on in the press. In the medium term all this will have consequences, but they are not being felt as acutely in the short term as many imagined.
The Isae Institute's business confidence index rose to 92.9 from a revised 92.4 in September, the Rome-based research center reported today. Manufacturers were more optimistic about their current prospects for production, with the relevant measure rising to minus three from minus seven, Isae said. Still, the report reveals considerable pessimism about prospects for the future. A measure of expectations for future orders fell to minus seven from minus six in September, and of particular note a measure of foreign orders fell to minus 10 from minus seven.