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Italian Consumer Sentiment Improves For Third Month

Italy's consumer confidence improved for the third consecutive month in March, contrary to economists' expectations for a decline, data released by statistical office Istat showed Monday.

The consumer confidence index increased to 96.8 in March from 94.4 in February. Economists were looking for a reading of 92.8. In January and December, the readings were 92 and 91.9 respectively.

Consumers' views about their personal financial condition improved during the month, with the relevant indicator rising to 100.1 from 97.5 in the previous month. At the same time, the indicator of consumers' views of the current economic climate rose to 102.6 in March from 100.3 in February.

Italian consumers were more optimistic about the future economic climate, with the corresponding indicator rising to 86.3 form 85.9 in February.

The balance of consumers' forecasts on unemployment increases to 87 in March from 82 in February, while the indicator of inflation perceptions referring to the last 12 months rose to 89 from 76, the agency said.

by RTT Staff Writer

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