Strength in the rest of the eurozone helped Italy’s industrial sector in the first quarter, with new orders climbing 1.5 per cent in the three months to March despite a contraction in the domestic market.

On a year on year basis, the new orders index – which represents the value of future deliveries to be provided by Italian industrial producers – increased by 9.2 per cent.

However, the volatile monthly figure was 4.2 per cent lower than the previous month.

Italy’s economy has lagged behind much of the rest of Europe recently, registering growth of only 0.2 per cent in the first quarter compared to the eurozone average of 0.5 per cent.

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