Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan has downplayed the effect of less expansionary monetary conditions, telling SkyTg24 television on Aug. 3 that the economy is strong enough to withstand higher interest rates and bond yields.


The summer season had opened with Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni's government orchestrating the rescue of three lenders, including the world's oldest, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, that required months of negotiations with European Union authorities. The moves will alleviate another burden on the nation's economy.


Consumer confidence remains a dark spot in a generally improving economic picture. Household morale has been on a downward trend since November 2015, in contrast to an improvement in the manufacturing confidence index that matched the highest in almost a decade last month.

That's because, according to the IMF, average Italians still earn less than they did two decades ago.

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