Italian October Industrial Output Declines More Than Forecast

Italian industrial output declined more than forecast in October, as the country’s fourth recession since 2001 extended into a second year.

Output fell 1.1 percent from September, when it dropped a revised 1.3 percent, national statistics office Istat said in Rome today. Economists forecast a decline of 0.3 percent for October, according to the median of 20 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

Italy’s economy shrank less than economists forecast in the quarter through September. Still, as export growth fails to offset weak domestic demand, the contraction is deepening and a “very negative context” marks the final quarter of the year, business lobby Confindustria said in a report last month.

Consumer confidence declined in November to the lowest since records began in 1996 amid rising pessimism among households on the outlook for growth and jobs. The Italian economy will shrink 2.3 percent this year and won’t start recovering until the second half of 2013, Istat said Nov. 5.

That consumer pessimism is translating into slumping car sales, sapping earnings at Fiat SpA, the nation’s biggest manufacturer. Car sales in Italy declined 20 percent in November. Production of cars and other vehicles fell 26.8 percent from a year earlier and was down 20.6 percent in the first 10 months, Istat said today.

Production dropped 6.2 percent from a year earlier on a workday-adjusted basis, Istat said. Istat originally reported a September decline in production of 1.5 percent.

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