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Italy business and consumer morale drop in November as coronavirus resurgence takes toll

·2-min read
The outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Rome

ROME, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Morale amongst Italian businesses and consumers fell sharply in November, data showed on Friday, as the second wave of a coronavirus epidemic and government restrictive measures weighed.

National statistics institute ISTAT's manufacturing confidence index fell to 90.2 in November from 94.7 in October.

The data was below a median forecast of 93.5 in a Reuters survey of eight analysts.

ISTAT's composite business morale index, combining surveys of the manufacturing, retail, construction and services sectors, came in at 82.8 in November, down from 92.2 in October and the lowest reading since August.

Consumer confidence fell this month to its lowest for six months, posting 98.1 compared with 101.7 in October and missing a median forecast of 99.0 in Reuters' poll.

More than 52,000 people have died of the coronavirus in Italy since its outbreak emerged on Feb. 21, the second highest toll in Europe after Britain's.

The euro zone's third largest economy rebounded by 16.1% in the third quarter from the previous three months after plunging in the first half of the year due to a coronavirus lockdown in the spring.

However gross domestic product is expected to shrink again in the final quarter due to the recent resurgence of the virus and the new government restrictions.

Rome's official forecast is for a full-year drop in gross domestic product of 9% in 2020 followed by growth of 6% in 2021.

ISTAT gave the following data on the November manufacturing confidence survey:

NOV OCT SEPT AUG

Overall index 90.2 94.7r 91.8r 87.0r

Orders level -28.8 -26.7r -34.3r -40.1r

Inventories 3.1 2.6 4.0 7.6

Output outlook -10.7 -0.6r 0.1r -4.1r

r=revised

((Reporting by Gavin Jones, gavin.jones@thomsonreuters.com; +390685224350; Reuters Messaging: gavin.jones.reuters.com@reuters.net))