Monday December 17 2018
Italy Trade Surplus Narrows 23% YoY in October
Istat | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's trade surplus decreased to EUR 3.78 billion in October 2018 from EUR 4.91 billion in the same month of the previous year, but well above market expectations of EUR 1.89 billion. Imports advanced faster than exports.

Imports jumped 14.2 percent from a year earlier to EUR 39.93 billion in October 2018 from EUR 34.96 billion a year ago, mainly boosted by higher purchases of: crude oil (32.3 percent); natural gas (29.8 percent); metals (19.3 percent); machinery and equipment (7.7 percent); pharmaceuticals (31.7 percent); chemicals and chemical products (9.2 percent); food products (4.2 percent) and vehicles (7.4 percent). 

Increases were seen in purchases from China (25.5 percent), OPEC countries (33.9 percent), the US (16 percent), Germany (10.2 percent); France (2.1 percent), Belgium (30 percent), the Netherlands (2.4 percent), Spain (0.3 percent) and the UK (8.3 percent).

Exports rose at a slower 9.6 percent to EUR 43.72 billion from EUR 39.88 billion in October 2017, mainly due to sales of: machinery and equipment (10 percent); other transport means (13.7 percent); food products (9.8 percent); pharmaceuticals (45 percent); metals (8.9 percent); chemicals & chemical products (12.7 percent); electrical devices (4.6 percent) and electronics (6.1 percent). In contrast, shipments declined for crude oil (-98.9 percent); natural gas (-59.9 percent) and vehicles (-8.1 percent).

Exports went up mostly to the US (22.3 percent), Switzerland (16.2 percent), OPEC countries (10.8 percent), China (1.4 percent), ASEAN countries (5.8 percent), Germany (7.7 percent) and France (4.6 percent). Conversely, sales decreased to Turkey (-23.7 percent) and MERCOSUR countries (-14.9 percent).

With the European Union countries, Italy's trade surplus widened to EUR 0.744 billion in October from EUR 0.635 billion in the same month of the previous year.  

Considering the January to October period of 2018, the trade surplus narrowed to EUR 32.27 billion from EUR 37.89 billion in October 2017, as imports grew 5.9 percent to EUR 353.58 billion and exports advanced at a slower 3.8 percent to EUR 385.85 billion.





Friday December 14 2018
Italy Inflation Rate Revised Down to 1.6% in November
Istat | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

The annual inflation rate in Italy came in at 1.6 percent in November of 2018, the same as in the previous month and slightly lower than a preliminary estimate of 1.7 percent. Inflation was steady for furniture and household equipment; housing & utilities and clothing & footwear. In addition, a slowdown in cost of non-regulated energy products offset rising prices of food.

Year-on-year, inflation was steady for furniture and household equipment (0.1 percent, the same as in October); housing & utilities (4.8 percent), as prices of regulated energy products should remain stable (at 10.7 percent) while those of non-regulated energy products (7.8 percent vs 9.5 percent) slowed; and clothing & footwear (0.2 percent).

Also, cost rose faster for food and non-alcoholic beverages (0.9 percent from 0.7 percent in October), with contributions of both processed food (1.1 percent from 1.0 percent) and unprocessed food (1.1 percent from 0.8 percent). Additional upward pressure came from prices of: restaurants & hotels (1.3 percent from 1.2 percent) and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (3.4 percent vs 3.2 percent).

On the other hand, prices eased for transport (3.5 percent vs 3.9 percent), despite a slight increase in prices of services related to transport (2.0 percent vs 1.8 percent); and miscellaneous goods & services (2.5 percent vs 2.6 percent).

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, went up 0.7 percent, the same as in October and below flash estimates of 0.9 percent. Excluding only energy, the inflation the inflation went down to 0.7 percent from 0.8 percent in the prior month.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices dropped 0.2 percent, after being unchanged in October, and compared preliminary estimates of smaller decline of 0.1 percent.

The harmonized index of consumer prices rose by 1.6 percent from the previous year (1.7 percent in October); and decreased by 0.3 percent month-over-month (0.2 percent in October).




Friday November 30 2018
Italy Economy Contracts For 1st Time Since 2014
Istat | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com

The Italian economy unexpectedly shrank 0.1 percent quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter of 2018, folllowing a 0.2 percent growth in the previous period, the final estimated showed. It was the first contraction since the second quarter of 2014.

From the expenditure side, gross fixed investment declined 1.1 percent in the third quarter of the year, after increasing 2.8 percent in the precedent period, mainly due to spending on machinery and equipment and weapon systems (-2.8 percent from to 6.9 percent); tranport equipment (-0.7 percent from to 7.6 percent); other buildings and structures (0.3 percent from 0.8 percent) and dwellings (0.6 percent from 0.7 percent). Additionally, household consumption fell by 0.1 percent, compared to a flat reading in the second quarter, and government expenditure showed no growth, following a 0.2 percent gain. 

Net trade contributed positively to the GDP as exports rose 1.1 percent (from 0.6 percent in Q2) while imports went up at a softer 0.8 percent (from 2.4 percent).

From the production side, the services industries shrank by 0.2 percent, following a 0.3 percent growth in the prior period. Five out of the seven sub-sectors of the services induestries recorded contraction: financial and insurance activities (-1.5 percent from 2.1 percent in Q2); professional and support activities (-1.3 percent from -0.1 percent); other services (-0.3 percent from 0.4 percent); and information and communication (-0.3 percent from -1.1 percent). Additionally, trade, transport and accommodation recorded no growth, after expanding 0.3 percent in the second quarter. On the other hand, public administration, defense, education, health rose 0.1 percent (from a flat reading) and real estate activities advanced 0.4 percent (the same pace as in Q2).

Industrial output contracted by 0.1 percent from a 0.2 percent growth in the previous period, as manufacturing fell 0.3 percent (from 0.1 percent in Q2) and construction rose 0.6 percent (the same as in Q2).

By contrast, agriculture output grew 1.6 percent, rebounding from a 2.8 percent contraction in the second quarter. 

Year-on-year, the economy advanced 0.7 percent, after a 1.2 percent expansion in the second quarter of the year and missing market consensus of a 0.8 percent growth. It was the weakest growth rate since the first quarter of 2015.





Friday November 30 2018
Italy Inflation Rate Quickens to Over 1-1/2-Year High of 1.7%
Istat | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

The annual inflation rate in Italy is expected to increase to 1.7 percent in November of 2018 from 1.6 percent in the previous month, matching market expectations. It is the highest inflation rate since April 2016, as rising prices of food must offset slowing cost of non-regulated energy products.

Year-on-year, inflation is expected to quicken for food & non-alcoholic beverages (1.1 percent vs 0.7 percent in October), with contributions of both processed food (1.3 percent vs 1.0 percent) and unprocessed food (1.1 percent vs 0.8 percent). Additional upward pressure must come from prices of: restaurants & hotels (1.5 percent vs 1.2 percent); furnishings (0.3 percent vs 0.1 percent) and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (3.5 percent vs 3.2 percent).

On the other hand, prices must ease slightly for housing & utilities (4.8 percent vs 4.9 percent), driven by slowing prices of non-regulated energy products (7.8 percent vs 9.5 percent) while those of regulated energy products should remain stable (at 10.7 percent); and transport (3.5 percent vs 3.9 percent), despite a slight increase in prices of services related to transport (2.0 percent vs 1.8 percent). In addition, cost should rise slightly less for miscellaneous goods & services (2.5 percent vs 2.6 percent).

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, should went up to 0.9 percent from 0.7 percent in October, hitting its highest level since June 2017. Excluding only energy, the inflation is set to advance to 0.9 percent from 0.8 percent in the prior month.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices should drop 0.1 percent, after being unchanged in October, and compared with market expectations of a larger decrease of 0.3 percent.

The harmonized index of consumer prices is expected to rise by 1.7 percent from the previous year (the same as in October); and to decrease by 0.2 percent month-over-month (0.2 percent in October).


Friday November 30 2018
Italy Jobless Rate Rises Unexpectedly in October
Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's unemployment rate rose to 10.6 percent in October 2018 from an upwardly revised 10.3 percent in the previous month and above market expectations of 10.1 percent. The number of unemployed increased by 2.4 percent while employment remained broadly stable.

The number of unemployed increased by 64 thousand from the previous month to 2.746 million in October, while the number of employed was virtually unchanged at 23.255 million and those detached from the labour force decreased by 77 thousand to 13.201 million.

Youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, edged up to 32.5 percent from 32.4 percent in September. 

The country's overall employment rate, one of the lowest in the Euro Area, rose to 58.7 percent in October from 58.6 percent in the previous period. The labour force participation rate went up to 65.8 percent from 65.6 percent.

In the three months to October, unemployment fell by 70 thousand and employment by 40 thousand compared with the May-to-July period. Temporary employment increased while permanent contracts declined.




Friday November 16 2018
Italy Inflation Rate Confirmed at 1.6% in October
Istat | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

The annual inflation rate in Italy increase to 1.6 percent in October of 2018 from 1.4 percent in the previous month, in line with a preliminary estimate. Prices advanced faster mainly for energy, both regulated and non-regulated energy products.

Year-on-year, prices rose at a faster pace mainly for: housing & utilities (4.8 percent from 2.7 percent), amid higher prices of regulated energy (10.7 percent from 5.6 percent) and non-regulated energy (9.5 percent from 9.3 percent) and miscellaneous goods and services (2.6 percent from 2.4 percent). On the other hand, cost slowed for food and non-alcoholic beverages (0.7 percent from 1.5 percent); transport (3.9 percent from 4.1 percent); restaurant and hotels (1.2 percent from 1.3 percent); health (0.1 percent from 0.2 percent); clothing and footwear (0.2 percent from 0.3 percent); furniture and household equipment (0.1 percent from 0.2 percent) and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (3.2 percent from 3.4 percent).

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, was unchanged at 0.7 percent. Excluding only energy, the inflation eased to 0.8 percent from 0.9 percent in September. 

On a monthly basis, consumer prices showed no growth, after a 0.5 percent drop in the prior month.  

The harmonized index of consumer prices rose by 1.7 percent from the previous year (1.5 percent in September); and advanced by 0.2 percent month-over-month (1.7 percent in September).


Friday November 16 2018
Italy September Trade Surplus Smaller than Expected
Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's trade surplus narrowed sharply to EUR 1.27 billion in September 2018 from EUR 4.26 billion in the same month of the previous year, and well below market expectations of EUR 2.87 billion. It was the smallest trade surplus since a deficit was recorded in January.

Imports jumped 5.7 percent from a year earlier to EUR 35.64 billion in September from EUR 33.73 billion, led by gains in purchases of: crude oil (35.9 percent); natural gas (50 percent); metals (6.9 percent); machinery (7 percent) and pharmaceuticals (9 percent). Meanwhile, imports of food products and vehicles fell 7.4 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.

The rise in imports mainly reflected the increase in purchases from China (14.3 percent), the US (26.3 percent), Belgium (16.4 percent), ASEAN countries (34.2 percent) and Russia (19.7 percent). By contrast, imports fell from Spain (-8.7 percent), Germany (-2.4 percent) and France (-2 percent).

Exports dropped 2.8 percent to EUR 36.92 billion in September from EUR 37.99 billion a year ago, mainly due to lower sales of: other transport means (-13.1 percent); machinery (-3.2 percent); food products (-4.3 percent); pharmaceuticals (-5.4 percent); electrical devices (-4.8 percent); other manufactured goods (-5.6 percent); and vehicles (-3.4 percent). By contrast, exports of coke and refined petroleum products increased 6 percent and those of electronics rose 4.4 percent.

Exports fell mostly to the US (-8.6 percent), Turkey (-31 percent), Russia (-24.7 percent), China (-17.2 percent), Japan (-17.3 percent) and MERCOSUR countries (-18.2 percent). Meanwhile, sales rose to the Netherlands (11.3 percent), ASEAN countries (4.7 percent) and Poland (2.4 percent).

With European Union countries, Italy's trade surplus widened to EUR 1.183 billion in September from EUR 0.747 billion last year. 


Wednesday October 31 2018
Italy Inflation Rate Rises Less Than Expected
Istat | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

The annual inflation rate in Italy is expected to increase to 1.6 percent in October of 2018 from 1.4 percent in the previous month, below market expectations of 1.7 percent. Prices advanced faster mainly for energy, both regulated and non-regulated energy products.

Year-on-year, prices are set to rise at a faster pace mainly for: housing & utilities (4.3 percent from 2.7 percent), amid higher prices of regulated energy (9.3 percent from 5.6 percent) and non-regulated energy (9.5 percent from 9.3 percent) and miscellaneous goods and services (2.7 percent from 2.4 percent). Meanwhile, inflation would remain steady for restaurant and hotels (1.3 percent, the same as in September); furniture and household equipment (0.2 percent) and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (3.4 percent). On the other hand, cost is expected to slow for food and non-alcoholic beverages (1 percent from 1.5 percent); transport (3.9 percent from 4.1 percent); health (0.1 percent from 0.2 percent) and clothing and footwear (0.2 percent from 0.3 percent).  

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, should went up to 0.8 percent from 0.7 percent in September. Excluding only energy, the inflation should remain steady at 0.9 percent. 

On a monthly basis, consumer prices should be unchanged, after a 0.5 percent drop in the prior month and against market expectations of a 0.2 percent gain. 

The harmonized index of consumer prices is expected to rise by 1.7 percent from the previous year (1.5 percent in September); and to advance by 0.2 percent month-over-month (1.7 percent in September).


Wednesday October 31 2018
Italy Jobless Rate Rises More than Expected in September
Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's unemployment rate rose to 10.1 percent in September 2018 from an upwardly revised 9.8 percent in the previous month and above market expectations of 9.9 percent. The number of unemployed increased by 3.2 percent while employment fell by 0.1 percent.

The number of unemployed increased by 81 thousand from the previous month to 2.613 million in September, while the number of employed dropped by 34 thousand to 23.308 million and those detached from the labour force decreased by 43 thousand to 13.296 million.

Youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, rose to 31.6 percent from 31.3 percent in August. 

The country's overall employment rate, one of the lowest in the Euro Area, declined to 58.8 percent in September from 58.9 percent in the previous period. The labour force participation rate went up to 65.5 percent from 65.4 percent.

In the third quarter as a whole, there was a significant fall in unemployment compared with the April-to-June period (-180 thousand) while employment was broadly stable, with temporary employment increasing and permanent contracts declining.


Tuesday October 30 2018
Italy Economy Stalls for the First Time Since 2014
Istat | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com

The Italian economy showed no growth in the third quarter of 2018, following a 0.2 percent expansion in the previous period and below market expectations of a 0.1 percent growth, the preliminary estimate showed. It was the weakest performance since the last quarter of 2014 when the GDP also stagnated.

On the domestic demand side, there was a null contribution by both change in inventories and net exports.

On the production side, industry contracted while services  and agriculture, forestry and fishing advanced.

Year-on-year, the economy grew by 0.8 percent in the three months to September, slowing from a 1.2 percent expansion in the prior period and missing market expectations of 0.9 percent. It was the weakest growth rate since the second quarter of 2015.