Italy's Manufacturing Growth Robust In December

Italy's Manufacturing Growth Robust In December

The manufacturing sector employed less people as the sub-index of employment dropped 0.3 percentage points month on month to 48.5 in December.

The official nonmanufacturing PMI, which covers the nation's services and construction sectors, rose to 55 in December from 54.8 in the previous month.

Analysts also expect that manufacturing growth will also be affected in the coming months by restrictions on factory production in some areas and especially in heavy industries to reduce pollution.

Ireland's economy is nearly certain to have been the strongest performer in Europe for the fourth straight year, while unemployment has been on a steady downtrend since 2011. It was the first slowdown in growth since early 2016.

"Manufacturers will be looking to the new year for the progress on the National Energy Guarantee and other measures to put downward pressure on business costs", Mr Willox said. In turn, new export orders rose at the quickest pace since June.

In response to greater inflows of new orders, good producers were encouraged in December to engage in input buying at the sharpest rate since August 2015.

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All seven activity sub-indexes expanded in December, but respondents said they continued to face higher energy costs, with some of those costs being passed on to customers.

Meanwhile, the sub-index of supplier deliveries declined 0.2 points month on month to 49.3, showing a slower delivery by raw material suppliers. As a outcome, the sector observed a modest increase in pre-production inventories for the first-time since June.

Italy's manufacturing activity continued to expand strongly at the end of the year, survey figures from IHS Markit showed Tuesday. Anecdotal evidence pointed to stronger market demand from home and global markets.

"Challenges remain as the economy adjusts to recent shocks, but the overall upturn was robust compared to the trend observed for the survey history", Dodhia said.

December's business optimism improved to a nine-month high.

"Given the strong conditions evident in the manufacturing sector, it is no surprise to see that firms are upbeat about the outlook", Philip O'Sullivan, economist with Investec, said.

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