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Italy's Leading Indicators Signal Subdued Economic Activity: Istat

Italy's leading indicator continued to signal subdued economic activity in months ahead, the statistical office Istat said in its monthly report on Friday.

The agency said recent data indicates that the slowdown in global growth is not yet over. Ongoing geopolitical uncertainties and trade tensions continue to put a drag on external demand.

Risks remain tilted to the downside, the agency added.

Another report from Istat showed that retail sales value dropped unexpectedly by 0.2 percent in October from the previous month, when value was up 0.6 percent. Economists had forecast a 0.5 percent increase.

Non-food sales decreased 0.5 percent on month, while food sales gained 0.1 percent.

On a yearly basis, retail sales growth improved to 1 percent, in line with expectations, from 0.8 percent in September.

In volume terms, retail sales gained 0.2 percent taking the annual growth to 0.8 percent.

According to economic outlook released, earlier this week, Italy is forecast to grow at a faster pace of 0.6 percent this year following an estimated 0.2 percent expansion this year.

Domestic demand and foreign demand are forecast to contribute to growth by 0.7 percentage points and 0.1 percentage points, while inventories are expected to contribute negative 0.2 percentage points to GDP in 2020.

Regarding labor market, Istat said employment growth is expected to stabilize at 0.7 percent in 2019 and in 2020. At the same time, the unemployment rate will decrease to 10.0 percent in this year and at 9.9 percent in 2020.

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