Italian Production Rises as Employers Raise 2018 Growth Forecast

Italian industrial output rose in October, signaling that the economic recovery is gaining strength this year and supporting businesses’ view that growth will maintain its pace in 2018.

Production rose in October 0.5 percent from the previous month, when it declined 1.3 percent, national statistics office Istat said in Rome on Wednesday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 20 analysts called for an increase of 0.7 percent in October. On an annual, workday adjusted basis, industrial production rose 3.1 percent.

Separately, Italian employers’ lobby Confindustria revised its gross-domestic-product forecast for 2018 to growth of 1.5 percent from 1.3 percent. The new estimate matches the pace projected for this year that Confindustria confirmed in its report on Wednesday.

The euro region’s third-largest economy is gaining strength as gross domestic product expanded for a 13th straight quarter in the three months through September. Still, retail sales plunged in October, reflecting limited improvements in the labor market, while third-quarter unemployment remained at 11.2 percent.

“It’s a positive fourth-quarter start for the Italian industry but a timid one, especially when put in the perspective of the sharp drop in production in September,” Bloomberg economist Maxime Sbaihi said, commenting the Istat report. “Activity in services is likely to make up for a smaller industrial boost in the final quarter, helping the overall economy to replicate” the 0.4-percent growth achieved in the previous three months.
Source: Bloomberg