Italy: Manufacturing conditions improve at fastest pace in over two years in September
October 1, 2020
The IHS Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) inched up from 53.1 in August to 53.2 in September. The result marked the strongest reading since June 2018. Therefore, the index moved further above the crucial 50-threshold, indicating improving conditions in the manufacturing sector.
The expansion in the headline PMI came largely on the back of sustained increases in production and new orders as well as of the first increase in staff numbers in 16 months. Moreover, exports rose for the first time since April 2019, albeit mildly, amid recovering foreign demand. On the price front, input costs rose again on higher raw material prices and transport charges, with the pace of input cost inflation at its highest since December 2018. Consequently, firms raised their output prices after seven consecutive monthly reductions. Lastly, business sentiment grew to its highest level in the series history, on rising hopes of economic recovery amid looser restrictions and higher sales.
Commenting on the release, Lewis Copper, economist at HIS Markit, stated:
“Latest survey data will therefore add to signs that the sector has enjoyed a rebound during the third quarter following the large economic blow from the COVID-19 pandemic. That said, it is vital that the momentum is maintained, and downside risks eliminated, to ensure every inch of lost ground is made up."