Italian stocks ran ahead of much of the pack this week, weathering volatility related to the ongoing wrangling between Greece and its creditors. (The parties managed to agree to a four-month extension of financing for Greece late Friday.)
But there has been actual good news on the Italian economy as well. Industrial orders showed signs of life. Key labor market reforms pushed by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi were approved by his cabinet allowing them to be put into action immediately. And unemployment, while still ridiculously high, has fallen sharply off the peak amid a rebound in consumer sentiment. (The consumer mood has climbed to six-month highs.)
No word if Italians are starting to feel good enough to get busy solving their bambino shortage. Ma non si sa mai.