Italy Economy Real Time Data Charts

Edward Hugh is only able to update this blog from time to time, but he does run a lively Twitter account with plenty of Italy related comment. He also maintains a collection of constantly updated Italy economy charts together with short text updates on a Storify dedicated page Italy - Lost in Stagnation?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Italian Retail Sales Decline For The Nineteenth Consecutive Month in September

Italian retail sales declined in September for the 19th consecutive month according to the latest report based on the Bloomberg retail sales purchasing managers index. The seasonally adjusted index of retail sales fell to 42.8 from 44.8 in August. Any reading below 50 signals contraction.

Italian household spending will shrink for the first time since 1993 this year, according to the Confindustria employers association. Europe's fourth-biggest economy contracted 0.3 percent in the second quarter and may follow Ireland to become the second country in the 15-nation euro bloc to slip into recession this year.

Forty-three percent of the Italian retailers surveyed said they missed their September sales target, and profit margins tightened as merchants sought to lure customers with discounts. Almost 37 percent said that margins had shrunk.

Declining sales prompted Italian retailers to cut staff for a ninth month, the report said. Italy's unemployment rate rose to 6.8 percent in the second quarter, the highest in two years, a separate report out this week showed.

The drop in Italian sales contributed to a decline at the European level. That index fell to 46.2 from 47.7. In Germany, the gauge rose to 44.6 from 44.1. Both remained below the 50 percent threshold that points to expanding sales. The only increase was in France, where the index indicated an expansion, though at a slower pace than the previous month.


Callum said...

Car sales can be seen as an indicator of economic health, now as everyone knows car sales have been falling dramatically in Italy this year. The September dales figures are out and again a sizeable decline of more than 5.5% was posted...but what I think is interesting is the comparasion of sales in the different regions of gives a picture (albeit a rough one) of how different regions are performing

So for September

North-West 56,665 (-6.1%)
North-East 33,640 (-9.55%)
Centre 50,515 (+4.15%)
South 23,060 (-12.2%)
Islands 12,235 (-16.1%)

ITALY 176,115 (-5.53%)

And for year to date

North-West 531,700 (-12.61%)
North-East 322,850 (-14.35%)
Centre 510,455 (-6.2%)
South 222,600 (-11.8%)
Islands 122,175 (-16.4%)

ITALY 1,079,780 (-11.95%)

So the centre is far, far outperforming the rest of the country, and indeed most Western European countries, while the South has been hit every bit as badly as the North, indeed judging by September things are actually getting worse in the South, with a wider gulf seeming to emerge between the South and Islands and the rest of the country. Could a significant drop in tourism have affected the South adversely, meaning that after a bad summer people are cutting further back, while the wealthier regions aren't as affected?

The North-East's fall is a little worrying - after all this is supposed to be Italy's power house, Perhaps the consumer goods manufacturers of Veneto and Friuli are being hit badly by the recession. Maybe the 'Red' triangle of Italy has been led better? Certainly when I visited Marche over the summer there wasn't a sense of depression around - indeed construction of new factories and new developments was happening apace. People weren't complaining about the economy, there weren't lots of unemployed people about (as far as I could tell), while there was lots of activity constructing new motorways etc...I certainly think that the leadership of Tuscany, Marche, Umbria has something to do with a seemingly better performing Central economy. Of course, car sales are just an indicator and obviously don't tell the full story, but you can get an idea...

Kit said...

re callum's regional figures - recheck the figures - I think year to date is 1,709,780, not 1.079,780 ....