Italian industrial output fell more than forecast by economists in February amid ongoing recession and tight austerity, the latest figures from the statistical office Istat showed Friday.
Production slumped for a sixth consecutive month, falling by 6.8 percent on a working day adjusted year-on-year basis in February. This was steeper than the 4.6 percent decline reported in January and a 5.1 percent drop forecast by economists.
Production decreased significantly in intermediate goods and consumer goods industries, while capital goods saw a relatively smaller decline. On the other hand, energy production grew 3.3 percent. In the manufacturing sector, the largest drop was reported in chemical industry.
On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, production fell 0.7 percent, compared to expectations for a 0.5 percent fall. During the first two months of the year, production dropped 5.7 percent over the same period last year.
The Italian economy slid into recession in the fourth quarter, for the first time since 2009, mainly due to poor demand and investment conditions. The gross domestic product declined 0.7 percent sequentially, faster than the 0.2 percent drop logged in the third quarter.
In 2011, GDP grew just 0.4 percent, following a 1.8 percent expansion in 2010. The European Commission forecasts Italy to shrink 1.3 percent in 2012.
by RTT Staff Writer
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