Italian industrial production plunged the most since January, dragged down by lower output of intermediate goods such as basic metals.
Production decreased 1.3 percent in September from the month before, when it rose 1.2 percent, national statistics bureau Istat said on Friday in Rome. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 23 analysts called for a 0.3 percent monthly fall. On an annual, workday adjusted basis, industrial production in September rose 2.4 percent, Istat also said.
The data come one day after the European Commission in Brussels warned that economic expansion in Italy will likely slow to 1.3 percent in 2018 and further to 1 percent in 2019, after growing 1.5 percent this year. The projections put Italian economic growth in last place in the euro area for the three-year period.
The Italian economy has expanded for the last 12 straight quarters, overcoming the longest recession in the nation’s history. The government says it expects 1.5 percent annual economic growth this year and the following two years.
The EU’s executive branch also said the European Central Bank’s “expected gradual move to a less accommodative monetary policy stance is forecast to affect financing conditions and soften investment spending.”
Istat will release the third-quarter preliminary GDP reading on Nov. 14.
Italy’s manufacturing confidence was up slightly in October amid improved expectations among executives that mirrored households’ growing optimism, Istat said in a separate report on Oct. 26.
— With assistance by Andre Tartar, and Lorenzo Totaro