MILAN — Defying expectations, business confidence in the Italian industrial sector rose slightly in November, the Italian National Institute of Statistics, or Istat, said.

The seasonally adjusted confidence indicator for manufacturing perked up to 94.4 in November from 94.2 in October, while for construction companies the numbers moved to 80.1 in October from 78.6 in September.

Istat reported increases in the consumer and intermediate goods sectors, and a slight decrease in the capital goods sector, to 91 in November from 91.3 points in October. Overall business confidence remains strongest in Italy’s northern regions and weakest in the south.

The index uses a baseline of 100, established in 2005.

Since former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi exited earlier in the month, his successor, Mario Monti, has been under intense pressure to address Italy’s financial woes and debt crisis.

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