Italian services growth lowest in a year in October – PMI

Growth in Italy’s service sector slowed for a third straight month in October, a survey showed on Monday, a sign a recent flurry in economic activity may be petering out.

The Markit/ADACI Business Activity Index for services companies dropped to 52.1 from September’s 53.2, remaining above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction but posting its lowest reading in a year.

The sub-index for new work at businesses from insurers to hairdressers also fell to its lowest level in a year in October, to 52.1 from 53.2.

On the other hand, a sub-index measuring business expectations for the next 12 months rose to its highest level in 21 months.

Markit’s sister survey for the manufacturing sector, released on Thursday, showed activity growing at its fastest rate in more than six years.

The composite PMI for services and manufacturing declined to 53.9 in October, its lowest since January, from 54.3 in September.

Gross domestic product rose 0.4 percent in each of the first two quarters of this year — strong increases by the standards of Italy, which has been the most sluggish euro zone economy since the launch of the single currency in 1999.

In September the government raised its forecast for this year’s GDP growth to 1.5 percent from a previous projection of 1.1 percent.

Source: Reuters (Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Catherine Evans)