Italian manufacturers have reported the first contraction in the sector since 2016, according to an IHS markit survey, in the latest sign of a broader slowdown in the Italian economy.
The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for Italy fell to 49.2 in October, the lowest reading in 46 months.
The closely-monitored survey had been teetering on the brink in September, when it held at the 50 line that separates expansion from contraction. Economists had anticipated the factory sector would slip into contraction, but expected a reading of 49.6, according to a poll for Reuters.
“New orders decreased at the quickest pace in 65 months,” said Markit economist Amritpal Virdee, “reflecting a combination of weaker domestic demand and export sales.”
Managers reported weaker demand from key export partners, especially Asian economies, in the latest sign the global trade war is taking a toll on European exporters.
“New business from abroad fell in October, interrupting an almost six-year sequence of expansion,” IHS Markit said.
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