ROME: Consumers in Italy are now less optimistic than at any stage in the last year, according to new figures.

The regular barometer of popular perceptions published by the Isae Institute fell to 104.1 points in August, compared with 105.5 points in July and well below the 105.3 points forecast in a Bloomberg poll.

Among the main contributors to the trend was anxiety following on from public spending cuts and the personal situation of respondents, which has stimulated “a plunge in people's thinking about buying durable goods.”

"The decline in consumer confidence is indicative of persistent concerns about the sustainability and the strength of the recovery," Silvio Peruzzo, an economist at the Royal Bank of Scotland, said.

Peruzzo further argued attempts to reduce the country's national debt are "certainly clouding the outlook, making consumers less upbeat".

One positive development featured in the Isae's report was that participants were in a more constructive frame of mind regarding the employment market, where totals climbed to the highest level since January.

Data sourced from Bloomberg; additional content by Warc staff