Italy’s Industry Output Unexpectedly Falls in Renzi Setback

Updated on
  • June industrial production missed expectation of 0.3% gain
  • Unemployment was 11.6% in June as more people sought work

Italian industrial production unexpectedly fell in June in a setback for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s plans to put economic growth on a stable footing.

Output decreased 0.4 percent compared with May, when it fell 0.6 percent, statistics agency Istat said Friday in Rome. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 19 analysts called for a 0.3 percent gain. On a quarterly basis, industrial production was down 0.4 percent.

The Italian economy continues to lose momentum “consistent with our expectations,” Barclays Plc said in a note after the data were released. Barclays cut its estimate for second-quarter growth to 0.1 percent from 0.2 percent previously. Istat will provide preliminary gross domestic product data for the quarter on Aug. 12.

The Italian economy, the third-biggest in the 19-nation euro region, returned to growth last year, emerging from its longest recession since World War II. Italy’s jobless rate unexpectedly rose to 11.6 percent in June, pushed higher in part by 51,000 people who entered the labor market after being classified as “inactive.”

Last month, both the Bank of Italy and the International Monetary Fund separately lowered their forecasts for the country’s economic growth, saying it may expand this year less than 1 percent. The central bank also cited the effects of a probable lower global trade partly due to the “not negligible but limited” impact of the U.K. voters’ decision to exit the European Union.

— With assistance by Zoe Schneeweiss

(Updates with Barclays cutting 2Q forecast in third paragraph.)
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