Thursday May 17 2018
Italy Trade Surplus Falls 14.7% YoY in March
Istat | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

Italy trade surplus fell to EUR 4.53 billion in March of 2018 from EUR 5.31 billion a year earlier. Figures compare with market expectations of EUR 3.74 billion. Exports fell the most since April of 2017 and imports were flat.

Exports went down 1.8 percent year-on-year to EUR 41.52 billion, the biggest annual drop since April of 2017. Main downward pressure came from lower sales of base metals and metal products, excluding machines and plants (-4.8 percent); motor vehicles (-7.5 percent); and machines and apparatus (-1.9 percent); while increases were seen in shipments of refined petroleum products (7.2 percent) and pharmaceutical, chemical-medicinal and botanical products (3 percent).

Exports fell to both the EU countries (-1.5 percent) and non-EU (-2.2 percent), namely OPEC countries (-11.5 percent), the UK (-9.2 percent) and Belgium (-12.3 percent). Exports rose to the Netherlands (8.3 percent) and the US (1.6 percent).

Imports were unchanged at EUR 36.98 billion. Declines were seen in purchases of consumer goods (-4.3 percent) and intermediate goods (-0.8 percent) while increases were registered for capital goods (0.6 percent) and energy (12.4 percent). Purchases rose from the EU countries (0.4 percent), namely Germany (6 percent) and France (4.2 percent). In contrast, imports fell 0.5 percent from the non-EU countries, namely from the US (-21.3 percent). 

Considering the first quarter of the year, sales rose 3.3 percent and imports 2.6 percent. The trade surplus reached EUR 7.54 billion.




Wednesday May 16 2018
Italy April Inflation Rate Confirmed at 0.5%
Istat | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's consumer price inflation eased to 0.5 percent year-on-year in April of 2018 from 0.8 percent in March and matching the preliminary estimate. Prices grew less for transport, restaurants & hotels and housing & utilities while food was more expensive.

Year-on-year, prices rose at a slower pace mainly for transport (0.4 percent from 1.8 percent in March), as services related to transport fell 0.7 percent (from 2.5 percent); and restaurants & hotels (1.2 percent from 1.5 percent). Also, those of housing & utilities were unchanged (from 2.5 percent in March), with energy cost slowing to 0.7 percent from 3.0 percent in March, amid a decline in regulated energy products prices (-1.2 percent from 5.0 percent)

Conversely, inflation rate quickened for: food & non-alcoholic beverages (1.2 percent from 0.5 percent), due to rising cost of both processed (1.8 percent from 1.2 percent) and unprocessed food (0.7 percent from -0.4 percent);  miscellaneous goods & services (2.0 percent from 1.7 percent); recreation & culture (0.8 percent from 0.6 percent) and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (3.0 percent from 2.3 percent), namely tobacco (2.8 percent from 2.2 percent).

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food fell to 0.5 percent from 0.7 percent in March, according to the preliminary estimate. Excluding only energy, the inflation stood at 0.5 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged up by 0.1 percent, in line with the preliminary reading and compared to a 0.3 percent gain in March.

The harmonized index of consumer prices went up by 0.6 percent from the previous year and by 0.5 percent from the previous month.




Wednesday May 02 2018
Italy GDP Growth Steady at 0.3% in Q1, Matches Forecasts
Istat | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

The Italian economy advanced by 0.3 percent on quarter in the three months to March of 2018, the same pace as in the previous quarter and in line with market expectations.

The expansion was primarily driven by domestic demand as net external demand contributed negatively to growth, with imports being higher than exports.

On the production side, services and agriculture expanded, while industry was broadly stagnant.

Year-on-year, the economy advanced 1.4 percent, below 1.6 percent in the previous period and marking the slowest growth since the first quarter of 2017.

The government forecasts 2018 growth at 1.5 percent which would be the same rate of 2017 and the strongest since 2010. In 2019, the GDP is seen slowing to 1.4 percent, mainly due to negative effect of planned increases in sales tax on the economy.




Wednesday May 02 2018
Italy Jobless Rate Steady at 11% in March
Istat | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 11 percent in March of 2018, the same pace as in the previous month and above market expectations of 10.9 percent.

The number of unemployed increased by 19 thousand from the prior month to 2.865 million in March and employement rose by 62 thousand to 23.134 million and those detached from the labour force fell by 104 thousand to 13.262 million.

Youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, dropped to 31.7 percent from a revised 32.5 percent in February, posting its lowest level since December of 2011.

The country's overall employment rate, one of the lowest in the Euro Area, rose to 58.3 percent in March from an upwardly revised 58.1 percent in the prior month and hitting its highest level since October of 2008. The labour force participation rate picked up to 65.7 percent from 65.4 percent.

In the three months to March, 21 thousand jobs were created compared with the last quarter of 2017. Temporary employment grew by 7 thousand while permanent contracts declined by 2 thousand and the self-employed increased by 56 thousand.




Monday April 30 2018
Italy April Inflation Rate Weaker than Expected
Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's consumer price inflation is expected to fall to 0.5 percent year-on-year in April 2018, matching February's 14-month low and missing market expectations of 0.7 percent.

Prices of food are set to rise 1.6 percent in April, following a 0.5 percent gain in the previous month, boosted by higher prices of both processed (2.2 percent vs 1.2 percent) and unprocessed food products (0.7 percent vs -0.4 percent). Additional upward pressure should come from: tobacco (2.8 percent vs 2.2 percent). Meanwhile, energy inflation is expected to slow to 0.8 percent in April from 3 percent in March, due to a decline in non-regulated energy products prices (-1.1 percent vs 5 percent). Also, cost of services related to transport should fall 0.7 percent after a 2.5 percent advance in the previous month.

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, is expected to fall to 0.5 percent from 0.7 percent in March. Excluding only energy, the inflation should remain unchanged at 0.5 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices are expected to increase by only 0.1 percent, after a 0.3 percent gain in March and missing consensus of 0.2 percent. An increase in prices of processed food products (1.1 percent), non-regulated energy goods (1.1 percent) and recreational, cultural and personal care (0.9 percent) should offset a decline in regulated energy prices (-5.4 percent).

The harmonised index of consumer prices is expected to rise by 0.6 percent from the previous year; and by 0.5 percent from the previous month.


Tuesday April 17 2018
Italy February Trade Surplus Widens More than Expected
Istat | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's trade surplus widened to EUR 3.10 billion in February of 2018 from EUR 1.88 billion in the same month a year earlier and above market expectations of a EUR 2.23 billion surplus. Exports grew 3.9 percent while imports edged up 0.5 percent.

Exports rose 3.9 percent year-on-year to EUR 36.25 billion in February from EUR 34.87 billion, mainly due to higher sales of basic metals and metal products (11.4 percent); electrical appliances (6.7 percent); means of transport (6.3 percent); machinery and appliances (3.6 percent) and substances and chemical products (2.2 percent). Meantime, exports dropped for agriculture, forestry and fishing (-9.2 percent) and clothing, textiles and accessories (-0.3 percent).

Exports increased mainly to India (23.0 percent), Netherlands (19.0 percent), Poland (17.0 percent), Czech Republic (13.5 percent) and Austria (12.9 percent). Meanwhile, sales fell to China (-9.8 percent), OPEC countries (-9.2 percent), Japan (-8.8 percent), Belgium (-3.9 percent) and  ASEAN countries (-1.6 percent).

Imports edged up 0.5 percent to EUR 33.14 billion in February from EUR 32.99 billion a year earlier, boosted by higher purchases of machinery and appliances (4.0 percent); basic metals and metal products (3.3 percent); substances and chemical products (2.0 percent) and means of transport (1.8 percent). In contrast, imports of clothing, textiles and accessories declined by 3.2 percent.

Imports advanced mainly to OPEC countries (13.0 percent), Czech Republic (10.2 percent), Austria (9.1 percent), Germany (8.2 percent) and Romania (7.0 percent). On the other hand, imports decreased from ASEAN countries (-24.9 percent), India (-15.3 percent), Spain (-11.9 percent), Belgium (-11.6 percent) and Switzerland (-10.6 percent).

With European Union countries, the trade surplus increased to EUR 1.13 billion from EUR 0.16 billion in February last year.


Tuesday April 17 2018
Italy Inflation Rate Revised Down to 0.8% in March
Istat | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Italy increased 0.8 percent year-on-year in March of 2018, slightly below market expectations and a preliminary estimate of 0.9 percent. In spite of the downwardly revision, consumer prices advanced at a faster pace compared to a 0.5 percent rise in February.

Year-on-year, prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages rebounded (0.5 percent from a -0.8 percent in February), mostly due to unprocessed food, which declined at a softer pace (-0.4 percent from -3.2 percent). Additionally, cost of transport rose further (1.8 percent from 1.7 percent), boosted by services related to transport (2.5 percent from 1.9 percent). Also, prices went up faster for restaurant and hotels (1.5 percent from 1.2 percent); miscellaneous goods and services (1.7 percent from 1.5 percent); clothing and footwear (0.3 percent from 0.2 percent) and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (2.3 percent from 1.2 percent). In addition, cost fell less for health (-0.2 percent from -0.3 percent) and communication (-1.8 percent from -2.1 percent). 

In contrast, prices slowed for housing and utilities (2.5 percent from 2.6 percent) and recreation and culture (0.6 percent from 1.1 percent). Also, inflation was steady for furnishings and household equipment (0.1 percent, the same as in February) and prices continued to drop for education (-16.2 percent, the same as in February).

On a monthly basis, consumer prices advanced 0.3 percent, below a preliminary figure of 0.4 percent and compared to a flat reading in February. 

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food increased 0.7 percent, following a 0.6 percent gain in the prior month. Excluding only energy, the inflation rose to 0.5 percent compared to a preliminary estimate of 0.7 percent and a 0.2 percent rise in February.

The harmonised index of consumer prices went up 2.3 percent from the previous year and 0.9 percent from the previous month.


Wednesday April 04 2018
Italy Jobless Rate Falls to 10.9% in February
Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 10.9 percent in February 2018 from 11.1 percent in the previous month and below market expectations of 11 percent. February's rate matched December's five-year low.

The number of unemployed fell by 49 thousand from the previous month to 2.835 million in February, while employment grew by 19 thousand to 23.055 million and those detached from the labour force increased by 28 thousand to 13.399 million.

Youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, rose to 32.8 percent from a revised 32.5 percent in January.

The country's overall employment rate, one of the lowest in the Euro Area, stood at 58 percent in February, unchanged from the previous month's revised figure. The labour force particpation rate edged down to 65.3 percent from 65.4 percent.

In the three months to February, 32 thousand jobs were lost compared with the September-to-November period. Temporary employment increased by 55 thousand while permanent contracts declined by 33 thousand and the self-employed fell by 53 thousand.


Friday March 30 2018
Italy March Inflation Rate Stronger than Expected
Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's consumer price inflation is expected to pick up to 0.9 percent year-on-year in March 2018 from a 14-month low of 0.5 percent in the previous month, and beating market expectations of 0.7 percent. Prices of food, tobacco and services related to transport should rise at a faster pace.

Prices of food including alcohol are set to rise 1.3 percent in March, recovering from a 0.7 percent drop in the previous month, boosted by higher prices of processed food including alcohol (2.5 percent vs 1.3 percent) while cost of unprocessed food is expected to fall at a slower pace (-0.4 percent vs -3.2 percent). Additional upward pressure should come from: tobacco (2.2 percent vs 0.3 percent); and services related to transport (2.5 percent vs 1.9 percent). Meanwhile, energy inflation is set to slow to 3 percent from 3.7 percent in February, due to both non-regulated energy products (1.1 percent vs 2.1 percent) and regulated energy products (5 percent vs 5.3 percent).

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, is expected to rise to 0.9 percent from 0.6 percent in February. Excluding only energy, the inflation should pick up to 0.7 percent from 0.2 percent in the prior month.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices are expected to increase 0.4 percent, after showing no growth in February, mainly due to higher costs of processed food including alcohol (1.3 percent), tobacco (1.8 percent) and services related to transport (1.7 percent).

The harmonised index of consumer prices is expected to rise by 1.1 percent from the previous year; and by 2.5 percent from the previous month.


Monday March 19 2018
Italy Trade Deficit Narrows in January
Istat | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's trade deficit narrowed to EUR 0.09 billion in January of 2018 from EUR 0.58 billion in the same month a year earlier, compared to market expectations of a EUR 4.87 billion surplus.

Exports jumped 9.5 percent year-on-year to EUR 34.69 billion in January from EUR 31.68 billion, boosted by higher sales of pharmaceutical, chemical-medicinal and botanical articles (25.9 percent); basic metals and metal products (17.1 percent); substances and chemical products (14.4 percent); food, beverages and tobacco (12.8 percent) and clothing, textiles and accessories (8.0 percent). On the other hand, exports of agriculture, forestry and fishing declined by 2.0 percent.

Exports rose mainly to Switzerland (22.0 percent), Poland (21.5 percent), India (19.6 percent), Czech Republic (19.3 percent) and Belgium (14.4 percent). Meanwhile, sales decreased to OPEC countries (-13.4 percent), ASEAN (-7.2 percent), Japan (-5.3 percent) and the US (-1.4 percent) 

Imports increased 7.8 percent to 34.78 EUR billion in January from EUR 32.26 billion a year earlier, mostly due to higher purchases of substances and chemical products (18.4 percent); basic metals and metal  (17.4 percent); food, beverages and tobacco (10.1 percent); transport (9.1 percent) and clothing, textiles and accessories (8.8 percent). Meantime, imports of mineral products fell by 8.7 percent. 

Imports advanced mainly to India (39.0 percent), OPEC countries (18.6 percent), Belgium (17.7 percent), Germany (17.5 percent) and Romania (14.9 percent). In contrast, imports went down from Switzerland (-13.0 percent), Russia (-9.9 percent), ASEAN countries (-9.7 percent), Spain (-4.5 percent) and the US (-2.4 percent).

With European Union countries, the trade surplus widened to EUR 439 million from EUR 315 million in January last year.