Monday September 18 2017
Italy Trade Surplus Narrows Less than Expected in July
Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's trade surplus narrowed to EUR 6.56 billion in July 2017 from EUR 7.80 billion in the same month of the previous year but better than market expectations of EUR 3.89 billion.

Year-on-year, imports jumped 10.5 percent to EUR 33.43 billion from EUR 30.25 billion, led by gains in purchases of: Natural gas (28.6 percent); basic metals and metal products (20.7 percent); rubber and plastic products (15 percent); electrical appliances (14.1 percent); and computer, electronic and optical devices (12.9 percent). Meanwhile, imports of coke and refined petroleum products fell 10.4 percent.

The rise in imports mainly reflected the increase in purchases from Poland (35 percent), Czech Republic (22.5 percent), Turkey (19 percent), China (14.7 percent) and Austria (14.6 percent).

Exports rose 5.1 percent to EUR 40.00 billion from EUR 38.04 billion in July 2016, boosted by higher sales of: Pharmaceutical, chemical and botanical articles (22.8 percent); coke and refined petroleum products (21.2 percent); vehicles (14 percent); sport articles (8.5 percent); and chemicals (7.9 percent). By contrast, exports of transport equipment fell 10.3 percent.

The biggest increases in shipments were reported for Russia (16.3 percent); the Netherlands (15.4 percent); China (15.3 percent); Belgium (14.8 percent); and ASEAN countries (11.3 percent). Meanwhile, sales fell mainly to Turkey (-4.8 percent).

With European Union countries, Italy registered a July trade surplus of EUR 2.03 billion, compared with a surplus of EUR 2.91 billion a year ago.




Thursday September 14 2017
Italian Inflation Rate Confirmed at 1.2% in August
Istat |Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's consumer prices increased 1.2 percent year-on-year in August of 2017, compared to a 1.1 percent rise in the previous month and matching preliminary estimates, final figures showed. The annual Inflation rate accelerated mainly due to rising prices of transport.

Year-on-year, consumer prices rose mostly for transport (3.7 percent vs 2.3 percent in July), namely driven by services related to transport (4.4 percent vs 3.2 percent). Also, cost advanced for recreation and culture (0.5 percent vs 0.4 percent) and increased at the same pace for restaurants and hotels (2.2 percent) and miscellaneous goods and services. In contrast, prices slowed for food and non-alcoholic beverages (0.8 percent vs 0.9 percent); housing and utilities (2.5 percent vs 2.6 percent); clothing and footwear (0.4 percent vs 0.5 percent) while declined for furniture and household equipment (-0.1 percent from a flat reading) and communication (-2.6 percent vs -2.9 percent).

Annual core inflation, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, went up to 1 percent from 0.8 percent in July. Excluding only energy, the inflation was unchanged at 0.9 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.3 percent, also in line with earlier estimates, after increasing 0.1 percent in July.

The harmonized index went up 1.4 percent on the year and recovered by 0.1 percent from the previous month.




Friday September 01 2017
Italy Q2 GDP Growth Confirmed at 0.4%
Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's gross domestic product advanced 0.4 percent on quarter in the three months to June of 2017, unrevised from the preliminary estimate and following an increase of 0.4 percent in the previous period. The expansion was driven by firm consumer spending, a rebound in fixed investment and inventory accumulation.

From the expenditure side, the positive contribution to GDP growth came from household consumption (0.2 percentage points), fixed investment (0.1 percentage points) and inventory changes (0.1 percentage points). Meanwhile, both government spending and net exports offered no contribution to quarterly growth.

Household expenditure grew 0.3 percent (0.5 percent in Q1) and gross fixed capital formation rebounded by 0.7 percent (-1.6 percent in Q1), boosted by stronger investment in machinery and equipment (0.6 percent from -4.5 percent in Q1) and transport equipment (8.2 percent from 2 percent in Q1). Meanwhile, investment in construction contracted 0.4 percent (0.7 percent in Q1). Also, government spending edged down 0.1 percent (0.5 percent in Q1), and net external demand made no contribution to growth, with rises in imports and exports canceling each other out. Imports increased 0.7 percent (1.6 percent in Q1) and exports went up 0.6 percent (1.6 percent in Q1).

From the production side, service sector grew 0.4 percent (0.6 percent in Q1); and industrial output expanded 0.6 percent percent (-0.3 percent in Q1), as manufacturing rose 0.9 percent (-0.5 percent in Q1) while construction shrank 0.4 percent (0.5 percent in Q1). By contrast, agriculture contracted 2.2 percent (3.5 percent in Q1).

Compared with the same quarter a year earlier, the economy expanded 1.5 percent after growing 1.2 percent in the previous period, in line with the preliminary estimate. It was the strongest pace of expansion since the second quarter of 2011.

The government of Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni is expected to raise its forecast for 2017 GDP growth to around 1.4 percent when it issues new economic targets next month, up from a current target of 1.1 percent.




Thursday August 31 2017
Italy Inflation Rate Picks Up to 1.2% in August
Istat | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Italian consumer prices are expected to increase 1.2 percent year-on-year in August 2017, compared to 1.1 percent gain in the previous month and above market expectations of 1.1 percent, the preliminary estimate showed. The slight increase in annual inflation was mostly driven by higher prices of transport.

Year-on-year, prices continued to advance for transport (3.7 percent vs 2.3 percent in July) and recreation and culture (0.5 percent vs 0.4 percent). Meantime, inflation rate was steady for housing and utilities (2.6 percent) and miscellaneous goods and services (0.8 percent).

In contrast, cost slowed for food and non-alcoholic beverages (0.8 percent vs 0.9 percent); restaurants and hotels (2.1 percent vs 2.2 percent); clothing and footwear (0.3 percent vs 0.5 percent) while declined for furnishings (-0.1 percent, after being flat in July) and communication (-2.6 percent vs -2.9 percent).

Annual core inflation, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, inched up to 1 percent from 0.8 percent in July. Excluding only energy, the inflation was unchanged at 0.9 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.3 percent, above market consensus of a 0.2 percent gain, after increasing 0.1 percent in July.

The harmonized index went up 1.4 percent on the year and recovered by 0.1 percent from the previous month.


Thursday August 31 2017
Italy Unemployment Rate Climbs to 11.3% in July
Istat |Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's seasonally adjusted jobless rate rose slightly to 11.3 percent in July 2017 from an upwardly revised 11.2 percent in June and above market expectations of 11.1 percent. The number of unemployed persons increased by 61 thousand from the previous month and employment went up by 59 thousand.

There were 2.950 million unemployed people, 61 thousand more than in the previous month. Meantime, employment also rose by 59 thousand to 23.063 million and those detached from the labour force declined by 115 thousand to 13.317 million.

Youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, went up to 35.5 percent from a revised 35.2 percent in June.

Italy's overall employment rate, on of the lowest in the Euro Area, edeged up to 58 percent in July from 57.9 percent in June.




Wednesday August 16 2017
Italian Economy Grows 0.4% in Q2
Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's gross domestic product grew 0.4 percent on quarter in the three months to June of 2017, the same pace as in the previous period and in line with market expectations, the preliminary estimate showed.

The expansion was driven by domestic demand, while trade flows were a drag on growth. On the production side, industry and services activity expanded, while agriculture contracted.

Compared with the same quarter a year earlier, the economy expanded 1.5 percent after growing 1.2 percent in the previous period and beating market consensus of 1.4 percent. It was the strongest pace of expansion since the second quarter of 2011.

Italy's government forecasts 2017 growth of 1.1 percent, up from the 0.9 percent advance seen last year.


Friday August 11 2017
Italy July Inflation Rate Confirmed at 1.1%
Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's consumer prices increased by 1.1 percent year-on-year in July 2017, matching preliminary estimates and following a 1.2 percent gain in the previous month. It was the lowest inflation rate since January, as prices rose at a slower pace for transport, food and housing.

Year-on-year, prices rose at a slower pace for transport (2.3 percent from 3 percent in June), food and non-alcoholic beverages (0.9 percent from 1 percent), housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (2.6 percent from 3 percent), and miscellaneous goods and services (0.8 percent from 1 percent). Meanwhile, cost grew further for recreation and culture (0.4 percent from 0.3 percent in June), health (0.3 percent from 0.2 percent) and clothing and footwear (0.5 percent from 0.4 percent), while inflation was steady for restaurants and hotels (at 2.2 percent).

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

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.1 percent, also in line with earlier estimates, after decreasing by 0.1 percent in June. Higher prices of services related to transport (1.6 percent) and of services related to recreation, including repair and personal care (0.9 percent), partially offset by a decrease in prices of food including alcohol (-0.7 percent) and energy (-1 percent).

The harmonized index rose by 1.2 percent on the year and declined by 1.9 percent from the previous month.


Thursday August 10 2017
Italy Trade Surplus Above Expectations in June
Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's trade surplus narrowed to EUR 4.50 billion in June 2017 from EUR 4.66 billion in the same month of the previous year but better than market expectations of EUR 3.87 billion. Exports rose 8.2 percent from the previous year to EUR 39.54 billion, driven by sales of vehicles and coke and refined petroleum products. Imports advanced at a faster 9.9 percent to EUR 35.04 billion, as purchases of natural gas and pharmaceuticals rose the most.

Year-on-year, exports rose 8.2 percent to EUR 39.54 billion from EUR 36.54 billion, boosted by higher sales of: Vehicles (19 percent); coke and refined petroleum products (17 percent); computer, electronic and optical devices (14.8 percent); chemicals (14.4 percent); and rubber and plastic products (11 percent). By contrast, exports of transport equipment fell 2.3 percent.

The biggest increases in shipments were reported for China (32.9 percent); Russia (26.8 percent); MERCOSUR countries (18.9 percent); Romania (18.2 percent); and Spain (17.8 percent). Meanwhile, sales fell to Belgium (-9.4 percent), OPEC countries (-2.8 percent) and the UK (-0.8 percent).

Imports increased 9.9 percent to EUR 35.04 billion from EUR 31.88 billion in June 2016, led by gains in purchases of: Natural gas (58.4 percent); pharmaceutical, chemical and botanical articles (23.2 percent); basic metals and metal products (18.4 percent); sport articles (15.2 percent); and crude oil (14.8 percent). Meanwhile, imports of textile fell 1.2 percent.

The rise in imports mainly reflected the increase in purchases from India (63.9 percent), Russia (42.8 percent), Poland (21.4 percent), ASEAN countries (20 percent) and Switzerland (15.8 percent). By contrast, imports fell the most from the UK (-6.7 percent).

With European Union countries, the trade surplus increased to EUR 1.22 billion from EUR 1.20 billion in June 2016.


Monday July 31 2017
Italian Inflation Rate Eases to 6-Month Low in July
Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Italian consumer prices are expected to increase by 1.1 percent year-on-year in July 2017, in line with market expectations and following a 1.2 percent gain in the previous month, the preliminary estimate showed. It was the lowest inflation rate since January, as prices rose at a slower pace for transport, food and housing.

Year-on-year, prices rose at a slower pace for transport (2.3 percent from 3 percent in June), food and non-alcoholic beverages (0.9 percent from 1), housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (2.6 percent from 3 percent), and miscellaneous goods and services (0.8 percent from 1 percent). Meanwhile, cost grew further for recreation and culture (0.4 percent from 0.3 percent in June), while inflation was steady for restaurants and hotels (at 2.2 percent), health (at 0.2 percent), and clothing and footwear (at 0.4 percent).

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

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.1 percent, also in line with market consensus, after decreasing by 0.1 percent in June. Higher prices of services related to transport (1.6 percent) and of services related to recreation, including repair and personal care (0.9 percent), offset a fall in prices of food including alcohol (-0.7 percent) and energy (-1 percent). 

The harmonized index rose by 1.2 percent on the year and declined by 1.9 percent from the previous month.


Monday July 31 2017
Italian Unemployment Rate Drops to 11.1% in June
Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell to 11.1 percent in June 2017 from 11.3 percent in May and below market expectations of 11.3 percent. The number of unemployed persons declined by 57 thousand from the previous month while employment increased by 23 thousand.

There were 2.855 million unemployed people, 57 thousand less than in the previous month. Meanwhile, employment rose by 23 thousand to 22.961 million and those detached from the labour force increased by 12 thousand to 13.507 million.

Youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, fell to 35.4 percent from a revised 36.5 percent in May.

Italy's overall employment rate, one of the lowest in the Euro Area, edged up to 57.8 percent in June from 57.7 percent in May.