Tuesday October 16 2018
Italy Posts Smallest Trade Surplus in 7 Months
Istat | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

The trade surplus in Italy narrowed to EUR 2.56 billion in August of 2018 from EUR 2.76 billion in the same month of the previous year and missing market expectations of a EUR 4.34 billion surplus. It was the smallest trade surplus since January

Imports jumped 6.4 percent year-on-year to EUR 28.32 billion from EUR 26.62 billion a year ago, driven by higher purchases of coke and refined petroleum products (37.2 percent); pharmaceutical, chemical-medicinal and botanical articles (25.6 percent) and mineral extraction products from quarries and mines (25 percent), such as crude oil (22.9 percent) and natural gas (31.3 percent). On the other hand, imports fell mostly for transport equipment (-13.3 percent), namely vehicles (-18.6 percent).

Imports rose mostly from non-EU countries (12.3 percent), of which Russia (7 percent), China (3 percent), India (25.3 percent) and OPEC countries (34.9 percent). Meantime, purchases also went up from EU countries (2.0 percent), namely Germany (2.5 percent) and France (4 percent).

Exports advanced 5.1 percent to EUR 30.89 billion from EUR 29.38 billion in August 2017, boosted by higher sales of: coke and refined petroleum products (31.6 percent); electrical appliances (15.5 percent); machinery and apparatus (2.8 percent); transport equipment, excluding motor vehicles (7.6 percent); food products, beverages & tobacco (4.5 percent) and electronic products (10.2 percent). In contrast, main declines were seen in sales of base metals and metal products, excluding machines and plants (-0.8 percent); pharmaceutical, chemical-medicinal and botanical articles (-0.5 percent) and agriculture, forestry and fishing products (-1.5 percent).

Shipments increased primarily to EU countries (5.7 percent), namely Germany (6.0 percent), France (2.6 percent) and Spain (8.3 percent). Also, external sales went up to non-EU countries (4.4 percent), mainly to the US (13 percent), Japan (8.5 percent) and ASEAN countries (7.8 percent).

With European Union countries, the trade surplus widened to EUR 0.817 billion from EUR 0.233 billion in August last year.

Considering the January to August period of 2018, the country's trade narrowed slightly to EUR 27.28 billion from EUR 28.38 billion, as imports grew 5.2 percent and exports rose at a slower 4.3 percent.




Tuesday October 16 2018
Italy Inflation Rate Revised Down to 1.4% in September
Istat | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

The annual inflation rate in Italy decreased to 1.4 percent in September of 2018 from 1.6 percent in the previous month and below a preliminary estimate of 1.6 percent. Inflation slowed amid softer rises in both processed food and non-processed food; services related to transport and non-regulated energy products.

Year-on-year, prices rose at a slower pace for food & non-alcoholic beverages (1.5 percent vs 2.2 percent in August), namely unprocessed food (2.4 percent vs 3.1 percent) and processed food (1.2 percent from 1.9 percent); transport (4.1 percent vs 4.2 percent), including services related to transport (2.5 percent vs 2.8 percent); housing & utilities (2.7 percent vs 2.8 percent), amid slowing prices of non-regulated energy products (9.3 percent vs 9.5 percent); miscellaneous goods & services (2.4 percent vs 2.6 percent); recreation & culture (0.2 percent vs 0.3 percent) and furniture & household equipment (0.2 percent from 0.3 percent). In contrast, cost advance further for restaurants & hotels (1.3 percent from 1.1 percent); health (0.2 percent vs 0.1 percent) and clothing & footwear (0.3 percent vs 0.1 percent). Meanwhile, inflation was steady for alcoholic beverages & tobacco (3.4 percent, the same as in August).

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, decreased to 0.7 percent from 0.8 percent. Excluding only energy, the inflation eased to 0.9 percent from 1.1 percent in August.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices dropped 0.5 percent, following a 0.4 percent increase in August and below a preliminary estimate of a 0.4 percent decrease.

The harmonized index of consumer prices rose by 1.5 percent from the previous year (1.6 percent in August); and advanced by 1.7 percent month-over-month (vs -0.2 percent in August).




Monday October 01 2018
Italy Jobless Rate at Over 6-1/2-Year Low of 9.7%
Istat | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Italy fell to 9.7 percent in August of 2018 from a downwardly revised 10.2 percent in the previous month and below market expectations of 10.5 percent. It was the lowest jobless rate since January of 2012.

The number of unemployed dropped by 119 thousand from the previous month to 2.522 million in August of 2018. Meanwhile, the number of employed rose by 69 thousand to 23.369 million and those detached from the labour force decreased by 47 thousand to 13.321 million.

Among genders, the jobless rate was lower for men (9 percent from 9.4 percent in July) than for women (10.7 percent from 11.2 percent in July). 

Youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, increased to 31 percent from 30.8 percent in July. 

The country's overall employment rate, one of the lowest in the Euro Area, was at 59 percent in August, up from 58.8 percent in the prior month. The labour force participation rate went down to 56.5 percent from 65.6 percent in July.




Friday September 28 2018
Italy September inflation Rate Edges Down to 1.5%
Istat | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

The annual inflation rate in Italy is expected to decrease to 1.5 percent in September of 2018 from 1.6 percent in the previous month, below market consensus of 1.7 percent. Inflation should slow down amid softer rises in prices of unprocessed food, services related to transport and non-regulated energy products.

Year-on-year, prices are set to rise at a slower pace mainly for: food & non-alcoholic beverages (1.9 percent vs 2.2 percent in August), namely unprocessed food (2.4 percent vs 3.1 percent); transport (4.1 percent vs 4.2 percent), including services related to transport (2.5 percent vs 2.8 percent); housing & utilities (2.7 percent vs 2.8 percent), amid slowing prices of non-regulated energy products (9.3 percent vs 9.5 percent); and miscellaneous goods & services (2.5 percent vs 2.6 percent). Meantime, inflation would remain steady for restaurants & hotels (1.1 percent) and furniture & household equipment (0.3 percent). In contrast, cost is expected to advance further for health (0.2 percent vs 0.1 percent); recreation & culture (0.4 percent vs 0.3 percent); clothing & footwear (0.2 percent vs 0.1 percent) and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (3.6 percent vs 3.4 percent).

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, should remain steady at 0.8 percent. Excluding only energy, the inflation is expected to ease to 1.0 percent from 1.1 percent in August.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices are set to drop 0.4 percent, following a 0.4 percent increase in August and against market forecast of a 0.2 percent rise.

The harmonized index of consumer prices is expected to rise by 1.6 percent from the previous year (the same pace as in August); and to advance by 1.8 percent month-over-month (vs -0.2 percent in August).


Monday September 17 2018
Italy Trade Surplus Narrows Less than Expected
Istat | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

The trade surplus in Italy fell to EUR 5.68 billion in July of 2018 from EUR 6.56 billion in the corresponding month of the previous year. Figures compare with market expectations of EUR 4.82 billion. Exports went up 6.8 percent but imports rose the most in fourteen months.

Exports rose 6.8 percent year-on-year to EUR 42.73 billion from EUR 40 billion a year earlier, mainly boosted by higher sales of base metals and metal products, excluding machines and plants (+12.4 percent); machines and equipment (+7 percent); refined petroleum products (+41.6 percent) and transport equipment, excluding motor vehicles (+12.0 percent). These increases were partially offset by a decline in shipments of motor vehicles (-6 percent) and pharmaceutical, chemical-medicinal and botanical items (-2.8 percent).

Exports increased to both EU countries (+8.5 percent) and non-EU countries (+4.8 percent), namely to Germany (+9 percent); France (+11.9 percent); Spain (+8.7 percent) and Switzerland (14.4 percent). 

Imports surged 10.8 percent year-on-year to EUR 37.06 billion from EUR 33.43 billion, mainly due to higher purchases of manufacturing products (+10.8 percent); transport equipment (+1.1 percent) and machinery (+11.4 percent).

Higher imports were recorded from EU countries (+6.2 percent) and non-EU countries (17.8 percent), namely Germany (11.7 percent); France (+9.4 percent); China (+7.3 percent) and OPEC countries (+24.5 percent). 

Considering the first seven months of the year, sales rose 4.2 percent and imports 5 percent. The trade surplus reached EUR 24.73 billion.

Considering the period May to July, imports went up 3 percent and exports 1.2 percent, when compared to the previous three month period.


Friday September 14 2018
Italy Inflation Rate Revised Down to 1.6% in August
Istat | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

The annual inflation rate in Italy rose to 1.6 percent in August of 2018 from 1.5 percent in July, matching the preliminary estimate and below market expectations of 1.7 percent. Still, it was the highest inflation rate since April 2017, mainly due to rising prices of transport.

Year-on-year, inflation picked up for transport (4.2 percent vs 4.0 percent in July), namely services related to transport (2.8 percent vs 1.7 percent); housing & utilities (2.8 percent vs 2.6 percent); recreation & culture (0.3 percent vs 0.2 percent) and furniture & household equipment (0.3 percent vs 0.2 percent).

On the other hand, prices increased less for food & non-alcoholic beverages (2.2 percent vs 2.4 percent), led by a slowdown in cost of unprocessed food (3.1 percent vs 3.6 percent); restaurants & hotels (1.1 percent vs 1.2 percent) and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (3.4 percent vs 3.8 percent).

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food rose to 0.8 percent from 0.7 percent in the previous month. Excluding only energy, the inflation inched up to 1.1 percent from 0.9 percent in July.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.4 percent, in line with the preliminary estimate, and compared to a 0.3 percent increase in the prior month.

The harmonised index of consumer prices increased by 1.6 percent from the previous year (1.9 percent in July), and decreased by 0.2 percent from the previous month (-1.4 percent in July).


Friday August 31 2018
Italy Q2 GDP Growth Confirmed at Near 2-Year Low
Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

The Italian economy grew by 0.2 percent on quarter in the three months to June 2018, in line with the preliminary reading and following a 0.3 percent expansion in the previous period. It was the weakest growth rate since the third quarter of 2016.

From the expenditure side, the largest contribution to growth was from gross fixed investment at 0.5 percentage points, followed by inventory changes at 0.2 percentage points. By contrast, net trade subtracted 0.5 percentage points to GDP growth while household consumption and government spending were neutral.

Gross fixed investment surged 2.9 percent in the second quarter, compared with a decrease of 1.1 percent in the precedent period, due to spending on transport equipment (9.2 percent vs 5 percent in Q1); plants, machinery and armaments (7.5 percent vs -2.4 percent); and residential construction (0.3 percent vs unchanged). Meanwhile, household consumption rose by 0.1 percent, easing from a 0.5 percent growth in the previous period, and government spending advanced 0.1 percent, the first increase in one year.

Net trade contributed negatively to growth as imports jumped by 1.8 percent (vs -1.8 percent in Q1) while exports fell by 0.2 percent (vs -2.2 percent in Q1).

From the production side, the services industries increased by 0.2 percent, easing from a 0.3 percent rise in the previous period. Positive growth was recorded within five of the seven sub-sectors of the services industries: trade, transport and accommodation (0.5 percent vs 0.8 percent in Q1); other service activities (0.5 percent vs 0.4 percent); real estate activities (0.3 percent, the same as in Q1); public administration, defense, education, health (0.2 percent vs 0.3 percent); and financial and insurance activities (0.1 percent vs -1.9 percent). By contrast, a contraction was recorded for both information and communication services (-1 percent vs -0.5 percent), and professional and support activities (-0.2 percent vs 0.7 percent). Industrial output increased by 0.3 percent (vs -0.2 percent in Q1), as manufacturing rose 0.3 percent (vs -0.2 percent in Q1) and construction output grew 0.2 percent (vs unchanged in Q1). Meanwhile, agriculture shrank by 1.4 percent, following a 4 percent jump in the first quarter.

Year-on-year, the economy grew by 1.2 percent in the second quarter, up from a preliminary reading of 1.1 percent and compared with an expansion of 1.4 percent in the previous three-month period. It was the slowest pace of expansion since the fourth quarter of 2016.




Friday August 31 2018
Italy Inflation Rate at 16-Month High of 1.7%
Istat | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

The annual inflation rate in Italy is expected to increase to 1.7 percent in August of 2018 from 1.5 percent in the previous month, beating market expectations of 1.4 percent. It was the highest inflation rate since April of 2017, mainly due to higher prices of services related to transport.

Year-on-year, prices are set to rise faster for transport (4.2 percent from 4 percent in July), namely services related to transport (2.9 percent from 1.7 percent); housing and utilities (2.8 percent from 2.6 percent); recreation and culture (0.3 percent from 0.2 percent) and furniture and household equipment (0.4 percent from 0.2 percent). Additionally, cost rebounded for health (0.1 percent from -0.1 percent) and inflation was steady for food and non-alcoholic beverages (2.4 percent, the same as in July), as a rise in prices of processed food (2.3 percent from 1.8 percent) was offset by a slowdown in prices of unprocessed food (3 percent from 3.6 percent); miscellaneous goods and services (2.6 percent) and clothing and footwear (0.1 percent). On the other hand, cost slowed for restaurant and hotels (1.1 percent from 1.2 percent) and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (3.5 percent from 3.8 percent).

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food rose to 0.9 percent from 0.7 percent in the prior month. Excluding only energy, the inflation should increase to 1.1 percent from 0.9 percent in July.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.5 percent, following a 0.3 percent gain in July and above market forecast of 0.2 percent.

The harmonised index of consumer prices is expected to rise by 1.7 percent from the previous year (1.9 percent in July); and to decrease by 0.1 percent from the previous month, after a 1.4 percent drop in July.


Friday August 31 2018
Italy Jobless Rate Falls to Lowest Since 2012
Istat | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Italy fell to 10.4 percent in July of 2018 from a downwardly revised 10.8 percent in the previous month and below market expectations of 10.8 percent. It was the lowest jobless rate since March of 2012.

The number of unemployed dropped by 271 thousand from the previous month to 2.705 million in July of 2018. Meanwhile, the number of employed rose by 277 thousand to 23.292 million and those detached from the labour force decreased by 92 thousand to 13.226 million.

Youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, went down to 30.8 percent from a downwardly revised 31.8 percent in June.

Among genders, the jobless rate was lower for men (9.6 percent from 9.9 percent) than for women (11.5 percent from 11.9 percent in June).

The country's overall employment rate, one of the lowest in the Euro Area, was at 58.7 percent in July, unchanged from the prior month. The labour force participation rate declined to 65.7 percent from 66.0 percent in June.


Monday August 13 2018
Italy July Inflation Rate Confirmed at 1.5%
Istat | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com

The annual inflation rate in Italy rose to 1.5 percent in July of 2018 from 1.3 percent in the previous month, unrevised from the preliminary estimate and above market expectations of 1.4 percent. It was the highest inflation rate since April last year, mostly due to higher prices of energy.

Year-on-year, prices increased further for unprocessed food (3.6 percent compared to 3.4 percent in June) and processed food (1.8 percent compared to 1.7 percent). Also, cost edged up for energy (7.9 percent compared to 4.2 percent), boosted by regulated energy products (5.5 percent compared to -1.2 percent) and non-regulated (10.4 percent compared to 9.4 percent). Additionally, prices advanced faster for restaurants and hotels (1.2 percent compared to 1.0 percent); housing and utilities (2.6 percent compared to a flat reading); miscellaneous goods and services (2.6 percent compared to 2.3 percent) and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (3.8 percent compared to 3.5 percent). On the other hand, cost slowed for recreation and culture (0.2 percent compared to 0.9 percent) and clothing and footwear (0.1 percent compared to 0.2 percent). In addition, prices of health fell (-0.1 percent compared to a flat reading) and inflation was steady for furniture and household equipment (0.2 percent, the same as in June).

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food went up 0.7 percent, easing from 0.8 percent in June. Excluding only energy, inflation rose 0.9 percent after a 1.0 percent increase in the prior month.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices advanced 0.3 percent, following a 0.2 percent gain in the previous month, in line with market consensus and unrevised from the preliminary figure.

The harmonised index of consumer prices edged up by 1.9 percent from the previous year (vs 1.4 percent in June) while declined by 1.4 percent from the prior month (vs 0.2 percent in June).