Italian industrial output unexpectedly fell for a second month in August, a decline that may extend the nation’s recession into a third year.
Production decreased 0.3 percent from July, when it dropped a revised 1 percent, national statistics office Istat said in Rome today. Economists had forecast a 0.6 percent rise, according to the median of 15 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. Output fell 4.6 percent from a year earlier when adjusted for working days.
The euro region’s third-biggest economy may still be mired in the slump it entered two years ago as the sales abroad of the country’s goods fail to offset the effect of rising unemployment on domestic demand. Still, business and consumer confidence rose last month to the highest since the second half of 2011 with executives and households sharing the government’s optimism that Italy will exit the slump by year-end.
Italy’s unemployment rate rose more than forecast in August, returning to an all-time high of 12.2 percent reached in May, Istat said Oct. 1.
Italy, whose economy went through four recessions since 2001, needs government stability to meet the budget and economic targets agreed upon with the European Union. On Oct. 2 Prime Minister Enrico Letta won a confidence vote in parliament after former Premier Silvio Berlusconi threatened to bring down the five-month old government.
Istat initially reported an industrial output decline of 1.1 percent in July.
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