Election season has Italy searching for a political party that is better suited for an economy and an ETF that is finally showing some signs of leveling off.
Partial results show Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Freedom People Party received around 35%, down from projected 45%, of the vote in elections for the European parliament, reports Luca Casiraghi for The Wall Street Journal. Ultimately, 35% was enough and Berlusconi prevailed, but it’s a sharp decline in support.
As the economy is estimated to contract 5% this year, citizens feel that Berlusconi, a rich businessman, is out of touch with the problems of the Average Giuseppe. Unemployment is a sensitive issue, and the Northern League, an anti-immigration and pro-federal political body, gained at opposition’s expense.
Berlusconi thinks the country’s economic downturn is waning, noting improvements in some sectors, according to ChinaView.
However, the national retailers’ association Confcommercio says that signs of an economic recovery are still too weak to be substantial. A report showed that household spending trends in April was marked by uncertainty. Consumer spending rose in March but dropped 0.4% in April.
- iShares MSCI Italy Index (EWI): down 1.2% year-to-date
Max Chen contributed to this article.