ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Sure, a weak economic condition is plaguing the euro zone, and Italy is no exception. But Italy’s exchange traded fund (ETF) and economy have some good points, too.

France, Germany and Italy are the top three economies within the euro zone and second quarter outlook are bleak as sentiment is low. The reports, all released Thursday, combined with a report a day earlier that German corporate sentiment fell to a record low in March, says Paul Carrel for Reuters on International Herald Tribune.

Household borrowing has stopped and business lending has slowed down since earlier this year. Many are anticipating a rate cut sooner than the proposed 0.50% cut currently set for April.

The country’s business lobby Confindustria also came out with some bearish figures, saying that it expected GDP to fall 3.5% this year. It fell 3.3% in the first quarter, reports Jennifer Clark for The Wall Street Journal. That’s worse than the previous forecase from the government for a 2% contraction.

Overall, the picture is a weak economic environment and the government must step in soon. Although sentiment and business morale was reportedly low in Italy, Forbes rated Italy as #31 for the best countries to do business.

Reasons include the diversified industrial economy, manufacture of high-quality consumer goods produced by small- and medium-sized enterprises, and a sizable underground economy making up around 15% of GDP.

  • iShares MSCI Italy Index (EWI): down 17.8% year-to-date; up 11% for one week

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.