More Bad News From Italy

Italy’s crisis rumbles on, and I don’t expect it to get much better any time soon. This week we learn that Italian retail sales fell sharply in April,

After adjustment for seasonal factors, retail sales in April were down 0.8 percent on the previous month ? the steepest month-on-month fall since May 2004. Compared with a year earlier, sales were 3.9 percent lower – the sharpest decline in the series? history.

and that consumer confidence in Italy fell in June to its lowest since last September:

The ISAE institute reported that its consumer sentiment index fell to 102.9 in June, from 104.3 in May. The index has now fallen in six of the past eight months.

ISAE noted that the index measuring expectations about the general economic situation declined to its lowest level for ten years, largely due to concerns about job security.

Also Italy posted a trade deficit with non-EU countries of 487 mln eur in May compared with a 109 mln surplus a year earlier:

Exports rose 10.3 pct year-on-year in May to 10.647 bln eur, while imports rose 16.6 pct to 11.134 bln.

In the five months to May, the trade deficit widened to 5.225 bln eur from 1.732 bln, as exports rose 7.6 pct and imports increased 15 pct.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".