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Financial News: Italy Manufacturing Contraction Eases In December

Italy Manufacturing Contraction Eases In December

01/02/2019 - 07:22:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Italy's manufacturing activity decreased at a slower rate in December, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Wednesday.

The headline IHS Markit manufacturing purchasing managers' index, or PMI, rose to 49.2 in December from 48.6 in November.

However, any reading below 50 indicates a contraction in the sector.

While output and new orders fell for a fifth successive month, the manufacturers increased the employment levels, albeit at the weakest pace in four-years in December.

On the price front, the input price inflation rose at the slowest pace since September 2016. Consequently, the rate of output price inflation slowed to the weakest in almost a year-and-half. Business confidence fell for the third consecutive month to the lowest in six years in December.

"December PMI data completed a worrying end to the year for Italian manufacturers, with firms continuing to struggle to secure new business," IHS Markit economist Andrew Harker said.

"This is in marked contrast to the start of 2018 when the sector was experiencing strong growth."

Citing the business confidence that is a six-year low, Harker said there appears little sense of optimism that the current soft patch will come to an end in the near future.

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