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Italy PMI March 2024

Italy: March services PMI shows strong growth and optimism

The HCOB Italy Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 54.6 in March from 52.2 in February. As a result, the index moved further above the 50.0 no-change threshold, and signaled a faster improvement in services sector operating conditions compared to the previous month.

The significant improvement in the Services PMI was primarily driven by the fastest rise in incoming new business in 31 months. This surge in demand was further bolstered by a renewed increase in new export business, marking the first rise in international demand since the previous July. Additionally, service sector firms responded to the higher inflow of new work by expanding their workforce.

On the pricing and sentiment front, input costs continued to rise, reflecting increased expenses in utilities, wages, and raw materials. These persistent inflationary pressures led firms to raise their selling prices at a sharper pace, the strongest in over a year. Despite these cost pressures, the outlook for the service sector remained optimistic, with confidence reaching its highest in nearly two years.

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