Italy’s Industrial Output Rises in Sign of Easing Slump

Italian industrial output increased in June, indicating the country is slowly emerging from its longest slump since World War II.

Production rose 0.3 percent from May, when it increased 0.1 percent, national statistics office Istat said in Rome today. That matched economists’ forecasts, according to the median of 20 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Output fell 2.1 percent in June from a year earlier when adjusted for working days.

Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s government is struggling to revamp the country’s economy while maintaining the budget rigor demanded by the European Union. With banks curbing lending to companies and consumer spending hurt by joblessness, the economy has contracted since the third quarter of 2011. Istat will release gross-domestic-product data for the second quarter at 11:00 a.m. today.

The Bank of Italy predicts the economy will shrink 1.9 percent this year.

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