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Italian Output Unexpectedly Fell in March as Stimulus Faded

May 10 (Bloomberg) -- Italian industrial production unexpectedly fell in March as output from the transportation industry dropped after the government phased out subsidies for the purchase of new cars.

Output declined 0.1 percent from February, when it stalled, Rome-based statistics office Istat said today. Economists had forecast a 1 percent increase, according to the median of 17 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. Transportation-industry output, which makes up 5.6 percent of the index, declined 8.2 percent from the previous month, Istat said.

Fiat SpA, Italy’s biggest manufacturer, and its suppliers face a setback after the government decided not to renew incentives for car buyers. Auto sales will fall 17 percent to 1.8 million in 2010, research center Promotor said on May 6. Italy last year offered as much as 1,500 euros ($1,900) per car for consumers willing to buy more fuel-efficient models.

Industrial production gained 6.4 percent from a year earlier, Istat said today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lorenzo Totaro in Rome at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Fraher at

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