Italian industrial production fell more than forecast in November, signaling that the country’s fourth recession since 2001 may have deepened in the final quarter of the year.
Output declined 1 percent from October, when it dropped 1.1 percent, national statistics office Istat said in Rome today. Economists forecast a decrease of 0.2 percent, according to the median of 16 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. Output fell an annual 7.6 percent on a workday-adjusted basis, Istat said.
The recession in the euro region’s third-biggest economy may have worsened after Italy contracted less than economists forecast in the three months through September. Istat said last week that the unemployment rate held in November at the highest level in more than 13 years as businesses refrained from hiring. The government and the central bank expect a recovery in the second half of this year amid increasing exports. Still, consumer confidence remained near a record low in December as households were pessimistic about the length of the recession.
In the same month confidence among business executives increased after the nation’s borrowing costs declined amid Prime Minister Mario Monti’s efforts to contain the budget deficit.
Consumer pessimism translated into lower domestic demand. Fiat SpA, Italy’s biggest manufacturer, saw its car sales in Italy fall by an annual 22.5 percent last month.
The fall in industrial output in November was led by declines in production of intermediate goods, Istat said. Output of cars decreased an annual 14.1 percent, today’s data showed.