Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Italian consumer confidence unexpectedly rose in November even as austerity measures and Europe’s debt crisis sparked concern that the economy may slip into a recession.
The sentiment index increased to 96.5 from a revised 93.3 in October, national statistics office Istat said in Rome today. Economists had predicted a reading of 92.4, according to the median of 14 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. Istat originally reported a confidence reading of 92.9 last month.
Former European Union commissioner Mario Monti was sworn in as prime minister last week in a bid to reassure investors that Italy can cut its 1.9 trillion-euro ($2.6 trillion) debt load and spur economic growth that has trailed the euro-region average for more than a decade.
Silvio Berlusconi resigned as premier on Nov. 12 after defections eroded his parliamentary majority and the country’s 10-year bond yields surged over the 7 percent threshold that prompted Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek bailouts.
Monti plans to implement austerity measures passed under Berlusconi and take additional steps that may include reinstating property taxes, overhauling the tax system and pension rules, trimming the government’s size and modifying labor laws, he told the Senate on Nov. 17.
--With assistance from Giovanni Salzano in Rome. Editors: Jeffrey Donovan, Andrew Davis
To contact the reporter on this story: Jeffrey Donovan at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at email@example.com.