The decline in the Italian services sector has moderated slightly in July. Markit/ADACI's purchasing manager's index (PMI) has risen from 45.8 to 48.7.
Analysts had forecast a much smaller rise to 46.5.
Phil Smith, economist at Markit and author of the Italy services PMI said:
The downturn in Italy’s service sector lost momentum in July, with business activity falling only modestly and at the slowest pace in the current 26-month sequence of decline. Taken alongside July’s solid increase in goods production, the private sector economy was close to stagnation in the opening month of Q3.
The trend in services employment, which often lags those for new work and overall business activity, worsened slightly in July, with the latest round of job cuts the most substantial since February.