Italy’s Economy May Be Picking Up, Surveys Suggest

Italy's Economy May Be Picking Up, Surveys Suggest 1

ROME, Aug 5 (Reuters) – Italy’s economy may be set for a moderate recovery within the next few months, on Mon two surveys recommended, providing the nationwide federal government some deep breathing space as it prepares a challenging 2020 budget in the fall months. The euro zone’s third-largest economy has been broadly stagnant for the last five quarters, and gross domestic product was flat in the second quarter on both a quarter-on-quarter and a year-on-year basis, data showed last week. Things may be going to improve, however, on Monday national statistics bureau ISTAT said, citing its leading indicator for July, while a separate survey of service sector activity showed a significant improvement in the same month.

Confidence improved last month among both companies and consumers, who are more upbeat about potential customers for the economy and jobs, ISTAT said in its regular monthly economic bulletin. Its amalgamated leading sign “has interrupted the downward trend (that was) in place because the end of last year, pointing to a scenario of hook improvement in production levels,” the figures bureau said.

Italy’s labor market has been picking right up for several a few months, despite the stagnant overall economy. The jobless rate fell to 9.7% in June, below objectives and the lowest reading since January 2012, while the work rate rose to the highest on record, ISTAT said last week. Italy’s services sector grew for another month running in July and by more than expected, IHS Markit’s closely watched survey of purchasing managers showed on Monday. The group’s Business Activity Index for services rose to July from 50 7. 5 in June, climbing further above the 50 threshold that separates growth from contraction and posting its highest reading since March.

While there were signs of improvement in services and employment, the processing sector continues to struggle. IHS Markit’s sister survey for manufacturing, week published last, demonstrated activity contracting for a tenth month running in July, in June with approximately the same rate as. The government’s most recent official forecast sees full-year 2019 GDP growth of just 0.2%, leaving Italy in its customary position among the euro zone’s most sluggish economies.

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