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Italian Industrial Output Drops in June Amid Deepening Recession

Italian industrial production declined more than forecast in June, signaling the euro region’s third-biggest economy probably contracted for a fourth quarter.

Output dropped 1.4 percent from May, when it rose a revised 1 percent, national statistics office Istat said in Rome today. Economists forecast a decline of 1 percent, according to the median of 16 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Production fell 8.2 percent from a year ago on a workday-adjusted basis.

Prime Minister Mario Monti’s austerity measures have deepened the economy’s fourth recession since 2001, with employers’ lobby Confindustria predicting gross domestic product will contract 2.4 percent this year.

Italian business confidence declined last month more than economists forecast as executives became more concerned that the country’s economic recession will deepen in coming months.

Fiat SpA temporarily stopped new investments in Italy as the European debt crisis caused sales in the region to plunge. Italian car sales have plummeted 20 percent through July, with deliveries this year on track to slip to the lowest level since 1979.

Istat had originally reported a 0.8 percent increase in May industrial production.

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