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Monday, December 01, 2008

Italy's Manufacturing Contraction Accelerates In November

Italy's manufacturing purchasing managers' index contracted at the sharpest pace in Italian survey history in November. The Markit/ ADACI manufacturing PMI declined to 34.9 in November, reflecting the sharpest deterioration in operating conditions in the sector in the eleven and half years of data collection. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 signifies a contraction.



Series record falls were also recorded for output, new orders, export orders, backlogs of work, purchasing activity and employment. At the same time input prices fell for the first time in 40 months in November, with the decline in costs being the steepest since late 2001. Fall in prices of oil based products and raw materials were the key drivers of this decline. At the same time, the factory gate prices registered the steepest drop in survey history, although the rate of fall in these prices was much slower than that of input costs.



Andrew Self, Economist at Markit Economics, commenting on the latest PMI data said "With the Italian economy already in technical recession, latest data from the manufacturing sector indicates that the economic downturn has accelerated markedly through the fourth quarter so far.



Output Down 6.9% In October - Stats Office

This PMI reading is only confirmed by the latest data from the Italian Statistics Office - ISTAT - on industrial output in October. Month-on-month production dropped a seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent - following a revised 2.6 percent drop in September, the national statistics office in Rome said today. Year on year production adjusted for working days fell 6.9 percent.



More significantly, the output index continues to fall month by month, and is now well below that December 2006 historic high of 101.1. Maybe we should be asking ourselves, will we ever get back up there again? Certainly it won't be easy, and not in the present climate.

2 comments:

Piazza Armerina said...

Ummm... To sharetipsinfo, this is a discussion about Italy, not India. I do agree with you, concerning small trade amounts and strict stoploss mechanics. However, the key is to be able to react quickly, or the risk you take won't be worth any gains. The Dow has been giving impressions of forming a bottom somewhere in the 8000s, but we must wait for the bad news in the New Year, as well as the auto bailout, before buying into a longer cycle of gain.
The USD is being both bought and sold on bad news, so there we are not sure if this is a short term drop to position for an Obama gain next year (as the dollar gained way too quickly pre-elections), or if the drop is well on its way. One thing for sure, daily vigilance is necessary if you want to make money in this market.

Back to Italy, though, what more is there to say? Our fears are becoming reality, as little by little the nails are being pounded into the coffin of the Italian economy as we knew it, and the downsizing is well underway. I am past the anger and mourning stages, and I am well into the acceptance and "moving forward" stage. I am here in Miami, and I wonder if there will ever be a window of opportunity for me personally to move back to my beloved Italy. If the recent EUR gains become long-term, I may never be able to afford it.

Even Palermo, the city of my birth, despite its low housing costs, may not be worth it for me to give up tropical Miami.

Edward Hugh said...

Hi Piazza,

The piece the first part of your comment refers to was spam - the same comment showed up on several different blogs at the same moment, and all with a free link back. I routinely take them out. Sorry if that ruins your comment a bit.

I understand your chagrin completely. I think this now becomes more of an intellectual adventure to see what actually getrs to happen next and when, rather than an analytical exercise anymore, since that part is, as you suggest, getting so predictable.

Things, unfortunately, will get interesting when something finally snaps. Personally I am not taking my eyes of Unicredit for a moment, but I just did a post on Greece (see my Spanish blog), and I think there is serious risk of a complete financial collapse there over the next two to three years, and then we may well see the same sort of contagion across Southern Europe that we are now seeing in Eastern Europe, with everyone off to the IMF.

Greece is Italy plus a 15% of GDP current account deficit at this point, with a massive credit sudden stop on its hands.

Don't miss what is happening to Eurozone sovereign spreads at this point, the breach is really opening.

Wish I could muster up some good news, but have a good xmas if we don't speak again before.