Italian consumer confidence gained for a second month in October as households grew more optimistic about the economy and the government announced tax cuts for the lowest earners.
The confidence index rose to 86.4 from 86.2 in September, the national statistics office, Istat, said in Rome today. The reading matched the median forecast in a survey of 15 economists by Bloomberg News.
The Italian economy contracted at a slower pace in the three months through September and will emerge next year from its fourth recession since 2001, the country’s central bank said in its quarterly economic bulletin last week. Prime Minister Mario Monti’s government announced this month that it would cut the two lowest income tax rates by 1 percentage point in its 2013 budget, partly to ease the impact of an increase in value added tax due next year.
Monti’s popularity fell by almost half to 37 percent from 71 percent on Nov. 28, two weeks after he became premier, according to a poll published last week by the SWG Institute.
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