ROME, May 10 (Reuters) - Italian industrial output held up much better than expected in March, posting a flat reading from the month before after a jump of 4.0% in February, data showed on Tuesday.
A Reuters survey of 16 analysts had pointed to a 1.9% drop in March.
On a work-day adjusted year-on-year basis, industrial output was up 3.0%, following a 3.4% annual rise the month before, national statistics bureau ISTAT reported.
However, in the first three months of the year, output was down 0.9% compared with the final quarter of 2021, ISTAT said.
March saw month-on-month rises for production of consumer goods, investment goods and energy items, while intermediate goods declined.
The euro zone's third largest economy contracted by 0.2% in the first quarter, hit by COVID-19 restrictions at the start of the year followed by uncertainty and high raw material prices linked to the war in Ukraine. [1N2T301U]
Mario Draghi's government last month cut its forecast for Italy's gross domestic product growth this year to 3.1% from a 4.7% projection made in September.
The latest forecast remains significantly higher than those of most independent think tanks.
ISTAT gave the following details.
INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION MARCH FEB JAN
Mth/mth pct change (adjusted) 0.0 4.0 -3.3r
Yr/yr pct change (adjusted) 3.0 3.4r -2 7
Yr/yr pct change (unadjusted) 3.8 3.4r 0.3
NOTE: BASE 2015=100.
(r) indicates revised figures.
ISTAT provided the following breakdown by broad product group in March: adjusted month-on-month percent change.
Consumer goods 1.0
Investment goods 0.4
Intermediate goods -0.7
Energy goods 2.7
((Gavin Jones, email@example.com))
Keywords: ITALY ECONOMY/OUTPUT