Italy: Manufacturing conditions worsen at the sharpest pace in over six years in December
The IHS Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped to 46.2 in December from 47.6 in November. The index thus moved further below the crucial 50-threshold, indicating worsening conditions in the manufacturing sector, where it has been for over one year. Moreover, December’s reading was the lowest since April 2013.
The deterioration in the headline PMI came mainly on the back of sharper declines in output and new orders, amid weak domestic and external demand, and output has now fallen for 17 straight months. As a consequence, manufacturers reduced their staff numbers amid declining backlogs of work. On the price front, input costs fell further, which led firms to cut their output prices as a result. More positively, however, business confidence rose to a five-month high thanks to improved demand prospects.