Italy is the latest country to indicate a mild pick-up in the European economy.
Italian consumer confidence rose in July more sharply than expected to the highest level since November 2007. Italians are becoming more upbeat about the prospects for Europe’s fourth largest economy and the job market there according to surveys carried out by a state-funded research institute. Recent data also showed a moderate rise in Italian industrial orders in May from April with increased domestic and overseas demand. This week Germany’s Economy Minister Karl-Theo zu Guttenberg also said there were signs of an economic recovery there though he added: “Both 2010 and 2011 will be difficult years.” While in France the number of people out of work fell in June for the first time in a year. But the French government said there is still no sign of a turnaround.