Italy’s Industry Output Unexpectedly Rises Amid Growth Optimism

  • GDP data for the fourth quarter will be released next week
  • Business confidence in January highest in more than a year

Italian industrial production unexpectedly rose in December, supporting company executives’ renewed optimism for the growth outlook in the euro region’s third-biggest economy.

Output increased 1.4 percent from November, when it rose a revised 0.8 percent on a monthly basis, statistics agency Istat said Friday in Rome. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 22 analysts called for a 0.1 percent drop. On an annual, work-day adjusted basis, industrial output was up 6.6 percent in December.

Executives grew more optimistic last month after data showed a rise in industrial orders and sales that bodes well for the economic recovery this year. The manufacturing confidence index rose to the highest since October 2015. Still, the latest indications from the labor market do not bode well with unemployment in December at 12 percent, a one-and-a-half year high.

Istat initially reported that industrial production had risen 0.7 percent in November.

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