Italian Industrial Production Rises Above Economists' Estimate

  • Data back expectations economic recovery may be gaining pace
  • Manufacturers' confidence remains weak, Istat said last month

Italian industrial production rose more than economists estimated in October, boosting optimism that the recovery may have gained strength in the final quarter of the year.

Output increased 0.5 percent from September, national statistics agency Istat said in a report issued Friday in Rome. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 15 economists called for a 0.3 percent rise in October. On an annual, work-day-adjusted basis, production rose 2.9 percent, Istat said.

As rising domestic demand failed to offset a decline in exports, the recovery in the euro region’s third-biggest economy weakened in the three months through September with the gross domestic product rising at the slowest pace this year. Italy will likely grow 0.7 percent in 2015, Istat said last week . That compares with the previous forecast of 0.9 percent expansion that was also the projection made by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government in its budget draft plan earlier this year.

“The confidence of manufacturing enterprises remains weak, driven by the expectations about the industrial production and orders,” Istat said in a Dec. 4 report.

Renzi acknowledged this month that economic growth may be limited to 0.8 percent. 

“We recorded a decline in exports, because of what happened in China and so on, but at the same time we had a rise in imports” that mirrors a higher domestic demand and falling unemployment, he said at a Dec. 1 event in Rome.

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