ROME, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Morale amongst Italian businesses fell for a fourth month running in November to its lowest level since 2021 but consumer confidence picked up, data showed on Wednesday, in mixed signals for the euro zone's third largest economy.
National statistics institute ISTAT's composite business morale index, combining surveys of the manufacturing, retail, construction and services sectors, fell to 103.4 in November compared with October's reading of 103.9.
The November reading was the lowest since April 2021.
A sharp drop in morale among service providers and construction firms was only partially offset by an improvement among manufacturers and retailers.
The closely-watched manufacturing confidence index rose to 96.6 from 96.1 the month before, beating a median forecast of 96.0 in a Reuters survey of six analysts.
Consumer confidence recovered this month after four straight declines, coming in at 103.6 from 101.6 in October and beating a median forecast of 102.0 in Reuters' poll.
Italian gross domestic product (GDP) stagnated in the third quarter compared with the previous three months, according to ISTAT's flash estimate last month, after contracting by 0.4% in the second quarter.
ISTAT said on Nov. 10 that economic activity is likely to weaken over the next few months.
The government in September trimmed its forecast for GDP growth this year to 0.8% from a previous 1% forecast made in April, and cut the outlook for 2024 to 1.2% from 1.5%.
ISTAT gave the following data on the November manufacturing confidence survey:
NOV OCT SEPT AUG Overall index 96.6 96.1r 96.5r 97.8r Orders level -21.3 -21.1r -19.4 -18.8 Inventories 5.2 5.5 6.0 4.9 Output outlook 2.1 0.8r 0.5r 2.6r r=revised