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Economy in Brief

New Industrial Orders in December Sag in Italy and in France
by Robert Brusca February 20, 2008

French and Italian orders have shown some consistency in recent years in their oscillations. Currently Italy’s trends are a bit flatter and the French trends are still a bit stronger but both saw clear evidence of losing momentum as 2008 approaches.

Over the last three months Italy’s orders are off at a 13.1% pace; French orders are off at a 0.3% pace for the same period. Italy’s foreign orders are off over 12, 6 and 3 months and are showing progressively worse results. French foreign orders are up weakly over 12 months and are lower over 6 months but have made a minor rebound in the recent three months. So while French foreign order trends are better than Italian trends they are still not solid…For the fourth quarter, French orders are dropping at a 3.8% pace Q/Q while Italy’s orders are dropping at a 3.3% annual pace. France’s foreign orders are holding up better with a mere 4% drop annualized in Q4 compared to Italy where the annual rate of decline for foreign orders is 15%.

The Euro Area is now showing some signs of growth erosion and we cannot tell if it is the strong euro at work or the effects of financial distress and lowered expectations that are having the largest impact. But France and Italy are showing signs of wear on tear in their respective industrial sectors.

Italy Orders
Saar exept m/m Dec-07 Nov-07 Oct-07 3-mo 6-mo 12-mo
Total -5.4% 2.9% -1.1% -14.1% -8.8% 1.6%
Foreign -8.1% 3.9% -5.8% -34.6% -23.1% -0.6%
Domestic -4.1% 2.5% 1.5% -0.7% 0.2% 2.7%
Memo
Sales -2.7% 0.2% -0.7% -12.0% -4.0% -2.8%
French Orders
Saar exept m/m Dec-07 Nov-07 Oct-07 3-mo 6-mo 12-mo
Total -2.0% -0.3% 2.2% -0.3% -7.0% 3.8%
Foreign -1.0% 1.1% 0.5% 2.5% -9.3% 3.5%
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