Italy’s unemployment rate declined in January after over a year of record highs. According to Bloomberg, the nation, which has the euro region’s third-largest economy, is finally displaying signs that it may be on the road to much-needed economic improvement.
January’s figures show that the jobless rate fell to 12.6 percent from 12.7 percent in December. This positive shift was welcomed, though unexpected – a Bloomberg survey had forecast an increase to 12.9 percent, explained the source. Youth unemployment, a major issue for the Mediterranean nation, also improved. Nasdaq reported that it fell from 41.4 percent in December to 41.2 percent in January.
Italy’s consumer confidence was also on the rise, noted Bloomberg, as was business confidence. The growth forecast for 2015, originally set at .5 percent, will be revised by the nation’s biggest employers lobby to reflect this positive growth. The first quarter of 2015 is expected to have an expansion of .1 percent, largely due to exports, explained the source.
Nasdaq noted that Matteo Renzi, Italy’s prime minister, is relieved by the positive labor movement, since his year-long run has been plagued by a negative labor situation. Bloomberg explained that Renzi’s government has plans to improve employment even further after passing a Jobs Act this month.