Italy industry output falls back in May after recent gains

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ROME, July 8 (Reuters) – Italian industrial output fell 1.1% in May from the month before, in line with expectations, after three consecutive increases, data showed on Friday.

April’s data was revised down to show a 1.4% rise, originally reported as 1.6%.

May’s 1.1% decline exactly matched the median forecast in a Reuters survey of 18 analysts.

Despite the latest drop, the March-to-May period still saw output up 2.3% compared with the three months to February, national statistics bureau ISTAT said.

On a work-day adjusted year-on-year basis, industrial output was up 3.4% in May, below a forecast of 4.0% in Reuters’ survey of analysts.

May saw month-on-month falls for output of consumer goods, intermediate goods and energy products, ISTAT reported, while investment goods showed a modest increase.

The euro zone’s third largest economy grew just 0.1% in the first quarter from the previous three months, hit by Covid restrictions at the start of the year and uncertainty and high raw material prices linked with the war in Ukraine.

In April Mario Draghi’s government cut its forecast for gross domestic product growth this year to 3.1% from a 4.7% projection made in the autumn.

The latest forecast remains above those of most independent bodies.

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