World Economy

Italy Factory Output Falls

Italy Factory Output FallsItaly Factory Output Falls

Italian industrial production declined far more than expected in April, adding to signs of a slowdown in economic growth just as the new government tries to reassure investors on the country’s outlook.

Output decreased 1.2% from March, when it rose 1.2%, national statistics institute Istat said in Rome on Monday. Economists had predicted it would fall 0.5% in April, according to the median of 18 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey. From a year earlier, work-day adjusted industrial output rose 1.9%.

In the first quarter of 2018 the Italian economy recorded a slight deceleration, due to the effects of lower investments and less net foreign demand, Istat said earlier this month. The institute said Thursday its leading indicator suggests a deceleration in economic activity for the coming months as well.

Investors remain wary of the outlook for Italy’s public finances amid the ambitious plans of the new government for tax cuts and increased spending. The national debt is more than 130% of gross domestic product.

Italy’s economy expanded 1.5% last year, the most since 2010. The same pace is forecast for this year, which would make Italy the slowest-growing country in the 19-nation euroland, according to the European Union.

The new finance minister, Giovanni Tria, in an interview published over the weekend, confirmed Italy’s commitment to the euro common currency. Tria ruled out leaving the euro and said he would focus on structural reforms over deficit spending.

“The position of the executive is clear and unanimous,” Tria told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera in his first major interview since the country’s populist government was sworn in at the start of this month.



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