Italy: Industrial production swings back into contractionary territory in March
Industrial output contracted 0.9% in March on a month-on-month, seasonally-adjusted basis, contrasting February’s 0.8% increase. March’s drop came on the back of lower production in the manufacturing, and electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning sectors. In contrast, production in mining and quarrying swung from contraction to expansion. Within the important manufacturing sector, the production of pharmaceutical products—traditionally quite volatile—fell sharply, and the output of textile products also recorded a notable decline. However, the manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products expanded significantly.
On an annual basis, industrial production shrank 1.4% in March in calendar-adjusted terms, swinging from February’s 0.9% rise, which had followed three consecutive months of contraction. Meanwhile, annual average growth in industrial output was equal to minus 0.4% in March, down from the flat reading recorded in February, the weakest reading in close to four years.