Italian industry sees output fall for 10th quarter

ITALIAN industrial production was up marginally in September, but down significantly for the third quarter, according to figures released yesterday, adding to fears that Italy could prove a drag on the Eurozone.

Italy’s national statistics institute (Istat) reported that production – excluding construction – increased by 0.2 per cent in September compared to the month before, representing a three per cent fall compared to September 2012.

Figures for the third quarter as a whole showed production down by a full one per cent compared to the previous quarter, marking the 10th successive quarterly decline amid Italy’s longest post-war recession, which began in the middle of 2011.

Production was down by a full 3.9 per cent for the period between January and September 2013 compared with the same period in 2012, in a process the European Commission has described as the “de-industrialisation” of the country.

The Italian government has now taken the spotlight away from Spain as the most troubled in the single currency bloc, according to Ben May at Capital Economics. He notes that with predicted gross financing costs of 56.4 per cent of GDP for 2014 and 2015 compared to Spain’s 41.3 per cent, Italy looks “more vulnerable to a deterioration in market sentiment or a pick-up in government bond yields.”