Working day adjusted industrial production decreased at an annual (year-on-year) rate of 4.1% in May. On an unadjusted basis, output from Italian industries was down by 6.6% over May 2007 according to the latest data released by the Italian statistical office ISTAT earlier today. Month-on-month, seasonally adjusted industrial production fell 1.4%.
April's growth figures were also revised, with the working-day adjusted annual industrial production figure going up to 2.4% from 2%, and the unadjusted figure to 8.4% from 8%. Month-on-month growth between March and April was however revised down to 0.4% from 0.7%.
The seasonally adjusted output index stood at just 96.7 in May, its lowest level since November 2005.
In one reflection of the problem which is developing, Fiat SpA, which is Italy's biggest carmaker, announced this morning that it is to close four of its six auto plants inside Italy for three weeks between September and November because of slumping sales.
The closures will affect factories in Mirafiori, Termini Imerese, Pomigliano and Melfi, a company official said today. The sites employ a total of 22,000 people, or about three- quarters of Fiat Auto's Italian workforce.
Sales in what is Europe's second-biggest car market fell 19.5 percent in June (year on year), a sixth straight monthly decline, as record oil prices and an economy with an uncertain future deterred consumers from buying buying. Registrations at Turin-based Fiat declined 16.5 percent to 60,220 vehicles.
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?