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Italy industry output flat in March after February jump

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Daily life during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Naples

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, gavin.jones@reuters.com))

Keywords: ITALY ECONOMY/OUTPUT

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