Italian industrial output rose the most in more than a year, boosting Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s goal of putting the nation on a sustainable growth path.
Production rose 1.1 percent in July from the previous month, which registered a revised 1 percent drop, national statistics agency Istat said in a report issued Friday. The median of 14 estimates in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.8 percent rise in July. On an annual basis, production rose 2.7 percent, Istat said.
"It’s very positive data, consistent with most recent indications we got from businesses," said Loredana Federico, an economist at UniCredit in Milan. “After a long contraction, manufacturing can now rise thanks to higher domestic demand and the resilience of foreign demand, making the current recovery fully sustainable.”
As Italy heads toward the final quarter of the year, Renzi’s advisers say the government may revise 2015 growth projections up to 0.9 percent from the 0.7 percent projected in April. The country has been recovering from its longest economic slump on record and grew in the first half more than previously estimated, Istat said earlier this month.
A faster pace in production this year may favor further improvements on the labor market after unemployment unexpectedly dropped in July to 12 percent from 12.5 percent in the previous month.
The July industrial production figure is the highest since the 1.8 percent rise in June 2014.