Thursday May 16 2019
Italy Trade Surplus Larger than Expected in March
Istat | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

The trade surplus in Italy rose to EUR 4.625 billion in March of 2019 from EUR 4.525 billion in the corresponding month of the previous year and compared with market expectations of EUR 4.24 billion. Exports were unchanged from a year earlier and imports edged down 0.3 percent.

Exports remained stable at EUR 41.520 billion in March, as higher sales of basic metals and metal products (4 percent); textiles, clothing and leather (5.3 percent) and food, beverages & tobacco (3.7 percent) where offset by lower shipments of machinery and equipment (-1.7 percent) and transport equipment (-11.2 percent).

Exports rose mostly to France (3.1 percent); the UK (23 percent); Switzerland (17.3 percent); Spain (0.9 percent); Belgium (7.6 percent) and OPEC (1.5 percent). On the other hand, exports fell to the US (-11.1 percent); Germany (-2.5 percent); Poland (-5.5 percent) and the Netherlands (-5.1 percent). 

Imports decreased 0.3 percent year-on-year to EUR 36.895 billion, dragged by lower purchases of transport equipment (-3.3 percent); basic metals and metal products (-2 percent); machinery and equipment (-2.1 percent) and food, beverages and tobacco (-2.8 percent); while import rose for chemicals and chemical products (0.7 percent); computers, electronic and optical devices (1.8 percent) and textiles, clothing and leather (1.6 percent).

Imports dropped mainly from Germany (-2.1 percent); France (-2 percent); China (-1.4 percent); Russia (-12 percent) and OPEC (-9.2 percent). By contrast, imports advanced from the United States (11.5 percent); the Netherlands (5.6 percent) and Spain (4.8 percent).

With European Union countries, the country's trade surplus jumped to EUR 1.220 billion from EUR 0.692 billion in March of 2018.

Considering the first quarter of the year, Italy’s trade surplus widened to EUR 8.189 billion from EUR 7.532 billion in the same period of 2018, as exports climbed 2 percent to EUR 114.736 billion and imports went up at a softer 1.5 percent to EUR 106.547 billion. 




Thursday May 16 2019
Italy Inflation Rate Confirmed at 1.1% in April
Istat | Rafael Gonzalez | rafael.gonzalez@tradingeconomics.com

Italy’s annual inflation rate came in at 1.1 percent in April of 2019, following a 1.0 percent rise in the previous month and in line with preliminary estimates. It was the highest inflation rate since December 2018, as prices advanced faster for transport.


Year-on-Year, prices rose faster for transport (2.6 percent vs 1.2 percent in March); restaurants and hotels (1.5 percent vs preliminary estimate of 1.3 percent and March's 0.9 percent); miscellaneous goods and services (1.9 percent vs 1.8 percent); health (0.5 percent vs 0.3 percent) and clothing & footwear (0.2 percent vs 0.1 percent). 

On the other hand, cost slowed for food and non-alcoholic beverages (0.4 percent vs 1.1 percent); housing & utilities (3.4 percent vs preliminary estimate of 4.3 percent and March's 3.7 percent); and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (2.4 percent vs preliminary estimate of 2.5 percent and March's 3.3 percent). In addition, cost continued to decline for recreation & culture (-0.2 percent vs preliminary estimate of -0.1 percent and March's -0.1 percent) and communication (-9.2 percent vs preliminary estimate of -8.7 percent and March's -7.2 percent) while inflation for education was steady (at 0.1 percent).

Annual core inflation, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, rose to 0.6 percent in April from 0.4 percent in the previous month. Excluding energy, inflation edged up to 0.7 percent from 0.6 percent in March, above a preliminary estimate of 0.6 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.2 percent, following a 0.3 percent rise in March and matching previous estimates.

The harmonized index of consumer prices increased 1.1 percent year-on-year, after a 1.0 percent gain in the previous month and below preliminary estimate of 1.2 percent. Month-over-month, harmonized inflation eased to 0.5 percent from a 2.3 percent, also below preliminary estimate of 0.6 percent.  




Tuesday April 30 2019
Italy Returns to Growth in Q1
Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's economy grew 0.2 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2019, emerging from its third recession in a decade and beating market expectations of a 0.1 percent expansion, the advance estimate showed.

From the demand side, net exports contributed positively to the GDP growth, while domestic demand, including gross of change in inventories, had a negative contribution.

From the production side, industry, services and agriculture all contributed to the increase in activity.

Year-on-year, the GDP rose 0.1 percent, after being unchanged in the previous period and also beating forecasts of a 0.1 percent contraction.




Tuesday April 30 2019
Italy Inflation Rate Rises to 1.1% in April
Istat | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

Italy’s annual inflation rate is expected to rise to 1.1 percent in April of 2019 from 1 percent in the previous month and below market expectations of 1.3 percent.

Inflation is likely to pick up for transport (2.6 percent from 1.2 percent in March), particularly transport services (2.8 percent from 0.5 percent); restaurant and hotels (1.3 percent from 0.9 percent); housing and utilities (4.3 percent from 3.7 percent), namely energy (6.2 percent from 5.5 percent) of which non-regulated energy (3.7 percent from 3.3 percent) and regulated energy (7.3 percent from 7.8 percent); miscellaneous goods and services (1.9 percent from 1.8 percent); health (0.5 percent from 0.3 percent) and clothing and footwear (0.2 percent from 0.1 percent).

On the other hand, cost should rise at a softer pace for food and non-alcoholic beverages (0.4 percent from 1.1 percent), due to non-processed food (1 percent from 1.9 percent) and processed food (flat reading from 0.7 percent) and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (2.5 percent from 3.3 percent).  Meanwhile, inflation is expected to be steady for education (at 0.1 percent).

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, is expected to accelerate to 0.6 percent in April from 0.4 percent in the prior month. Excluding only energy, inflation should remain unchanged at 0.6 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices should increase 0.2 percent in April, following March’s 0.3 percent gain and in line with market consensus. 

The harmonized index of consumer prices is expected to rise 1.2 percent from the previous year (from 1.1 percent in March); and to advance 0.6 percent month-over-month (from 2.3 percent in Mach).


Tuesday April 30 2019
Italy Jobless Rate Drops to 7-month Low of 10.2%
Istat | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's unemployment rate decreased to 10.2 percent in March 2019 from a downwardly revised 10.5 percent in the prior month and below market expectations of 10.7 percent. It is the lowest jobless rate since August, as the number of unemployed fell by 3.5 percent while employment rose 0.3 percent.

The number of unemployed declined by 96 thousand from the previous month to 2.641 million in March 2019, while the number of employed increased by 60 thousand to 23.291 million and those detached from the labour force decreased by 6 thousand to 13.197 million.

Youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, fell to 30.2 percent from a downwardly revised 31.8 percent in the prior month.

By genders, the jobless rate was lower for men (9.4 percent vs 9.7 percent in February) than for women (11.3 percent vs 11.7 percent).

The country's overall employment rate, one of the lowest in the Euro Area, went up to 58.9 percent in March from 58.6 percent in the previous month. The labor force participation rate stood at 65.7 percent for the third straight month.

On an annual basis, unemployment declined by 208 thousand and employment rose by 114 thousand while inactive fell by 35 thousand.




Wednesday April 17 2019
Italy Trade Surplus Widens in February
Istat | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

The trade surplus in Italy rose to EUR 3,268 billion in February of 2019 from EUR 3,098 billion in the corresponding month of the previous year.

Exports advanced 3.4 percent from a year earlier to EUR 37,499 billion in February, mainly due to sales of: machinery and equipment (2.5 percent); textiles, clothing and leather (8.8 percent); transport equipment (8.1 percent); basic metals and metal products (3.6 percent); food, beverages & tobacco (9.7 percent) and rubber and plastic products, other non-metallic mineral products (2.8 percent).

Exports rose mostly to the US (20.6 percent); Germany (3.1 percent); France (0.7 percent); the UK (19.6 percent) and Switzerland (16.5 percent). Meanwhile, sales fell to Spain (-2.3 percent); OPEC (-1.1 percent) and Turkey (-28.9 percent).

Imports increased at a softer 3.3 percent to EUR 34,231 billion, led by gains in purchases of: basic metals and metal products (7.8 percent); machinery and equipment (3.5 percent); pharmaceutical, chemical-medicinal and botanical articles (24.2 percent) and food, beverages and tobacco (2.6 percent). 

The rise in imports mainly reflected the increase in purchases from Germany (1.7 percent); China (4.9 percent); the US (22.3 percent); the Netherlands (1.7 percent) and Belgium (18.9 percent). By contrast, imports fell from France (-2.2 percent) and OPEC (-13.9 percent). 

With European Union countries, the country's trade surplus narrowed slightly to EUR 1,112 billion from EUR 1,124 billion in February 2018.


Wednesday April 17 2019
Italy Inflation Rate Confirmed at 1% in March
Istat | Agna Gabriel | agna.gabriel@tradingeconomics.com

Italy’s annual inflation rate came in at 1 percent in March of 2019, the same as in the previous month and in line with preliminary estimates. Higher cost of non-regulated energy products (3.3 percent from 0.8 percent) were offset by a slowdown in prices of unprocessed food (1.9 percent from 3.7 percent), services related to transport (0.5 percent from 0.9 percent) and tobacco (4 percent from 4.5 percent).

Year-on-year, prices rose faster for transport (1.2 percent from 0.6 percent in February, the same as in the preliminary estimate) and miscellaneous goods and services (1.8 percent from 1.7 percent, the same as in the preliminary estimate). On the other hand, cost slowed for food and non-alcoholic beverages (1.1 percent from 1.7 percent, below 1.3 percent in the preliminary estimate); restaurant and hotels (0.9 percent from 1 percent, the same as in the preliminary estimate); housing and utilities (3.7 percent from 3.8 percent, the same as in the preliminary estimate); health (0.3 percent from 0.5 percent, the same as in the preliminary estimate); furnishing and household equipment (0.1 percent from 0.2 percent, below 0.2 percent in the preliminary estimate) and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (3.3 percent from 3.5 percent, below 3.4 percent in the preliminary estimate). Meanwhile, inflation was steady for clothing and footwear (at 0.1 percent, the same as in the preliminary estimate) and education (at 0.1 percent, the same as in the preliminary estimate). Prices continued to fall for recreation and culture (-0.1 percent from -0.3 percent, the same as in the preliminary estimate) and communication (-7.2 percent from -7.5 percent compared to -6.5 percent in the preliminary estimate).

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, was steady at 0.4 percent, the same as in the prior month and below preliminary estimates of 0.5 percent. Excluding only energy, inflation edged down to 0.6 percent, after a 0.7 percent gain in February.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.3 percent, following a 0.1 percent gain in February and matching earlier estimates. 

The harmonized index of consumer prices advanced 1.1 percent year-on-year, unchanged from the previous month; and rebounded month-over-month (2.3 percent from -0.3 percent in February).


Monday April 01 2019
Italy Jobless Rate at 4-Month High of 10.7%
Istat | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's unemployment rate decreased to 10.7 percent in February 2019 from 10.5 percent in the previous month and above market expectations of 10.5 percent. The number of unemployed rose by 1.2 percent and employment dropped 0.1 percent.

The number of unemployed rose by 34 thousand from the previous month to 2.771 million in February 2019, while the number of employed went down by 14 thousand to 23.211 million and those detached from the labour force decreased by 14 thousand to 13.193 million.

Youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, dropped to 32.8 percent from 32.9 percent in the prior month.

The country's overall employment rate, one of the lowest in the Euro Area, edged down to 58.6 percent in February from 58.7 in the previous month. The labor force participation rate stood at 65.7 percent for the fourth consecutive month.

On an annual basis, unemployment fell by 39 thousand and employment rose by 113 thousand while inactive people declined by 169 thousand.


Friday March 29 2019
Italy Annual Inflation Rate Steady at 1% in March
Istat |Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's annual inflation rate is expected to rise to 1.0 percent in March 2019, the same pace as in the previous month and in line with market expectations, a preliminary estimate showed.

Prices of food products should increase at a slower pace (1.3 percent from 1.7 percent in February), of which unprocessed (2.0 percent from 3.7 percent in February) while processed food (0.9 percent from 0.5 percent); transport services (0.4 percent from 0.9 percent) and housing services (0.4 percent from 0.6 percent). Also, cost of communication services is expected to decline further (-5.1 percent from -4.8 percent). On the other hand, inflation is likely to rise for energy (5.5 percent from 4.1 percent), namely non-regulated (3.3 percent from 0.8 percent) and regulated energy goods (at 7.8 percent, the same as in February). 

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, is expected to rise 0.5  percent, after increasing 0.4 percent in February. 

On a monthly basis, consumer prices should went up 0.3 percent, following a 0.1 percent gain in the prior month and matching market forecasts. Upward pressure is likely to come from energy (0.9 percent), processed food (0.4 percent), and durable goods (0.3 percent) while downward pressure should come from food (-0.3 percent).

The harmonized index of consumer prices is expected to advance 1.1 percent year-on-year, unchanged from the previous month; and to rebound month-over-month (2.3 percent from -0.3 percent in February).


Tuesday March 19 2019
Italy Trade Surplus Narrows More than Expected
Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Italy posted a trade surplus of EUR 0.322 billion in January 2019, compared with a EUR 0.092 billion deficit in the same month of the previous year and well below market expectations of a EUR 2.062 billion surplus.

Exports rose 2.9 percent from a year earlier to EUR 35.70 billion in January, mainly due to sales of: pharmaceuticals (19.2 percent); machinery (6.2 percent); metals (5.2 percent); food products (5.9 percent); leather goods (8.3 percent); other manufactured goods (10 percent); and electrical devices (3.9 percent). By contrast, exports of coke and refined petroleum products plunged 28.6 percent and those of vehicles dropped 16.4 percent.

Exports rose mostly to the US (18 percent), Switzerland (13 percent), France (3.3 percent), the UK (6.1 percent), Germany (1.7 percent), the Netherlands (5.8 percent) and Romania (9.4 percent). Meanwhile, sales fell to OPEC (-19 percent), Turkey (-26.6 percent) and Poland (-10.1 percent).

Imports increased at a softer 1.7 percent to EUR 35.38 billion, led by gains in purchases of: natural gas (55 percent); metals (8.4 percent); pharmaceuticals (6.2 percent), other means of transport (9.1 percent), machinery (4.3 percent), electrical devices (5.9 percent) and other manufactured goods (9.2 percent). Meanwhile, imports of crude oil and vehicles slumped 22.1 percent and 11.7 percent, respectively.

The rise in imports mainly reflected the increase in purchases from Russia (30.7 percent), China (8.9 percent), France (5.7 percent), the US (13.4 percent), ASEAN (11.9 percent), Turkey (11.9 percent) and MERCOSUR (20.8 percent). By contrast, imports fell from OPEC (-18.5 percent), Belgium (-10 percent) and Germany (-1.5 percent).

With European Union countries, the country's trade surplus widened to EUR 0.907 billion from EUR 0.434 billion in January 2018.