Italy's services sector activity declined at the sharpest pace since June 2009, survey data released by Markit Economics showed Friday.
The Markit/ADACI Italy Services Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 42.3 from March's 44.3. The latest score is the lowest in nearly three years and came in below economists' consensus of 43.7.
A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector. Services sector output declined for the 11th consecutive month.
The April decline in services activity was largely due to further drop in new business. New orders fell at the second fastest rate since June 2009 owing to lower credit availability and lack of demand.
Firms also shed jobs at a faster rate in April with some reducing working hours. Staffing levels fell at the sharpest pace since July 2009. Confidence in the sector was the weakest in this year thus far.
Cost pressures remained strong in April with input price inflation holding steady. But, firms reduced tariffs for the ninth successive month.
by RTT Staff Writer
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