Italy’s Industrial Output Rises Less Than Forecast in May

Italian industrial output rose less than expected in May, indicating the country is struggling to emerge from its longest recession in more than two decades.

Production rose 0.1 percent from April, when it fell 0.3 percent, national statistics office Istat said in Rome today. Economists had forecast output to rise 0.3 percent, according to the median of 11 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

The International Monetary Fund last week cut its growth outlook for Italy, forecasting a 1.8 percent contraction in 2013, which matched a May prediction by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The nation’s credit rating was lowered by Standard & Poor’s yesterday because expectations for a weakening in economic prospects and the country’s impaired financial system.

In May, output fell an annual 4.2 percent on a workday-adjusted basis, Istat said.

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