Italy’s consumer confidence and business confidence climbed strongly in March, strengthening hopes of recovery in the economy, survey data from ISTAT showed Monday.

The consumer confidence index rose to 110.9 from 107.7 in February, marking its highest level since May 2002, the agency said. The index increased for a third consecutive month.

ISTAT revised the base for both consumer and business confidence indexes this month. Methodological changes were also undertaken. Consequently, previous figures were revised.

The originally reported consumer confidence figure for February was 110.9. In March, all sub-components of the consumer confidence index increased.

The unemployment expectations balance fell steeply to -3 from 10. The measure on inflation perceptions for the next 12 months rose to -28 from -33.

The manufacturing confidence index climbed to 103.7 from 100.5, revised up from 99.1 reported earlier. The March reading was the strongest since June 2011, ISTAT said. The index rose for a seventh month in a row.

The overall business confidence index rose to 103.0 in March from 97.5 in February. The latest reading was the highest since July 2008, the agency said. The measure climbed for a fourth straight month.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company –