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Economy in Brief

Italian Industry Moves Unevenly Higher Through November
by Carol Stone January 19, 2006

Industrial sales and orders rebounded markedly in Italy in November after pausing in October, according to data reported today by Istat, the Italian national statistical agency. Total orders gained 1.8% and stand 4.0% above a year ago, while sales (often called “turnover” there) were up 1.6% in the month and 4.4% on the year.

As the case in much of Europe, the foreign sector is tending to run ahead of the domestic economy. For the entire period since the index base year of 2000, foreign orders are up 14.5%, while domestic orders have been virtually flat. In the past year, foreign orders are up 5.8% and foreign sales by 7.6%, compared with somewhat over 3% for domestic orders and sales.

Individual industries are experiencing mixed fortunes, with electrical equipment, furniture and chemicals advancing in the last year. Metals and machinery see slowing growth, and transportation equipment and wood products have been flat. Finally, textiles and paper products are declining.

By type, consumer goods turnover seems recently to have the most consistent growth, albeit less dramatic expansion. Capital goods are tending to expand, but very unevenly from month-to-month, so there is little identifiable momentum. Energy products are very strong, but other intermediate goods have been erratic and trendless.

A reminder that these data appear in several Haver databases: most obviously in ITALY, our comprehensive and detailed country-source database. But also, a summary is presented in G10, a collection of major industrial countries in Europe plus the US, Canada, and Japan. And EUROSTAT, compiled from Eurostat, the EU statistical agency, contains an array of industrial orders throughout Europe.

Nov 2005
Italy Industry Oct 2005 Year Ago 2004 2003 2002
Index* % Chg

Sales

109.6 1.6 -0.6 4.4 3.1 -1.0 1.1
  Domestic 108.2 1.4 -0.3 3.3 2.9 -0.6 0.8
  Foreign 113.5 2.0 -1.4 7.6 3.6 -2.3 1.7
Orders 104.1 1.8 -0.9 4.0 4.7 -3.8 2.3
  Domestic 99.5 2.1 -1.3 3.1 3.9 -3.5 1.0
  Foreign 114.5 1.1 -0.1 5.8 6.3 -4.2 5.1
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