Friday March 17 2017
Italy Posts Largest Trade Gap In 4 Years
Istat | Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's trade balance shifted to €0.57 billion deficit in January 2017 from €0.03 billion in the same month of the previous year while market expected €3.45 billion surplus. It was the first trade gap since January of 2015 and the biggest since January of 2013. Exports increased by 13.3 percent to €31.7 billion, led by higher purchases of coke and refined petroleum products and vehicles; while imports grew by 15.5 percent to €32.3 billion, as purchases of crude oil and coke and refined petroleum products rose the most. With EU countries, Italy registered a trade surplus of €0.3 billion while with non-EU ones a trade gap of €0.9 billion.

Year-on-year, exports rose 13.3 percent to €31.7 billion, boosted by higher sales of: coke and refined petroleum products (69.4 percent); vehicles (27.7 percent); pharmaceuticals (25.9 percent); and electrical equipment (16.2 percent). By main industrial groups, sales rose for: energy (75.7 percent); intermediate goods (11.4 percent); capital goods (14.1 percent); and consumer goods (9.4 percent).

The biggest increases in shipments were reported for: ASEAN (57 percent); Russia (39.4 percent); China (36.5 percent); the United States (35.8 percent) and Japan (28.8 percent). 

Imports increased 15.5 percent to €32.3 billion, led by gains in purchases of: crude oil (123.9 percent); coke and refined petroleum products (53.6 percent); vehicles (27.9 percent); natural gas (17.3 percent); and base metals (15.8 percent). By main industrial groups, purchases rose for: energy (62.5 percent); capital goods (13.1 percent); intermediate goods (15.9 percent); and consumer goods (2.1 percent).

The rise in imports mainly reflected the increase in purchases from OPEC countries (53.4 percent), Russia (43.3 percent), Turkey (29.6 percent), Austria (23 percent) and Spain (20.6 percent).




Wednesday March 15 2017
Italy Inflation Rate Revised Up To 1.6% In February
Istat |Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Italy rose 1.6 percent year-on-year in February of 2017 following a 1 percent increase in the previous month and slightly above preliminary estimates of 1.5 percent gain. It is the highest inflation rate since March of 2013, mainly driven by prices of food and transport.

Year-on-year, main upward pressure came from cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages (3.8 percent compared to 2.3 percent in January); transport (4.9 percent compared to 3.2 percent); restaurants and hotels (1.1 percent, the same pace as in January) and miscellaneous goods and services (1.1 percent compared to 0.9 percent). In addition, prices of housing and utilities were flat (from -0.5 percent in January).

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food rose to 0.6 percent from 0.5 percent the previous month. Excluding only energy, the inflation went up to 1.3 percent from 0.8 percent in January.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.4 percent compared to a 0.3 percent increase in January.  

The harmonized index rose 0.2 percent on the month (from -1.7 percent in January) and 1.6 percent on the year (from 1 percent in January).




Friday March 03 2017
Italy Q4 GDP Growth Rate Confirmed At 0.2%
Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's gross domestic product advanced 0.2 percent on quarter in the three months to December of 2016 compared to a 0.3 percent expansion in the previous period and matching the preliminary estimate. It was the weakest growth rate in one year, as domestic demand continued to boost output while inventories fell.

From the expenditure side, the positive contribution to GDP came from final domestic demand (0.4 percentage points), namely fixed investment (0.2 percentage points) and government spending (0.1 percentage points). In contrast, changes in inventories subtracted 0.2 percentage points from growth, while consumer spending and net exports showed no contribution.

Fixed investment grew by 1.3 percent (from 1.5 percent in Q3), boosted by spending on transport equipment (13.6 percent from 10.7 percent in Q3), construction (0.5 percent from 0.7 percent in Q3) and machinery and equipment (0.4 percent from 1.1 percent in Q3). Also government spending rebounded 0.6 percent after falling by 0.2 percent in the previous period. Meanwhile, household expenditure edged up 0.1 percent (from 0.2 percent in Q3); exports increased by 1.9 percent (from 0.3 percent in Q3) and imports by 2.2 percent (from 1 percent in Q3).

From the production side, industrial output grew 0.8 percent (the same as in Q3), as manufacturing advanced 0.9 percent (1 percent in Q3) and construction rebounded 0.6 percent (after showing no growth in Q3). Service sector stagnated (from 0.1 percent in Q3); and agriculture contracted 3.7 percent, the fourth period of decline (from -1.1 percent in Q3).

Compared with the same period of 2015, the economy expanded 1 percent, the same as in the previous period and below a preliminary reading of 1.1 percent growth.

In 2016, the economy advanced also 1 percent after growing by 0.7 percent in 2015 and by 0.2 percent in 2014. The government forecasts 1 percent economic growth in 2017.




Thursday March 02 2017
Italy Unemployment Rate Unchanged At 1-1/2-Year High
Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's seasonally adjusted jobless rate stood at 11.9 percent in January 2017, unchanged from the revised December's figure and slightly lower than market expectations of 12 percent. It was the highest reading since June 2015, as the number of unemployed persons rose by 2 thousand from the previous month and employment increased by 30 thousand.

There were 3.097 million unemployed people, 2 thousand more than in the previous month. Employment rose by 30 thousand to 22.856 million and those detached from the labour force decreased by 42 thousand to 13.401 million.

Youth unemployment rate, measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years old, declined to 37.9 percent from 39.2 percent in December.

Italy's overall employment rate, one of the lowest in the Euro Area, edged up to 57.5 percent, its highest reading since May 2009, from 57.4 percent in December.




Tuesday February 28 2017
Italy Inflation Rate At Near 4-Year High Of 1.5%
Istat | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Italy are expected to rise 1.5 percent year-on-year in February of 2017, following a 1 percent increase in January. It is the highest inflation rate since March of 2013, mainly boosted by cost of food and transport, preliminary estimates showed.

Year-on-year, main upward pressure came from cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages (3.8 percent compared to 2.3 percent in January); transport (4.9 percent compared to 3.2 percent); restaurants and hotels (1.2 percent compared to 1.1 percent) and miscellaneous goods and services (1 percent compared to 0.9 percent). In addition, prices of housing and utilities fell less (-0.4 percent compared to -0.5 percent). ~

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food rose to 0.6 percent from 0.5 percent the previous month. Excluding only energy, the inflation went up to 1.3 percent from 0.8 percent in January.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.3 percent, the same as in December. 

The harmonized index rose 0.2 percent on the month (0.3 percent in December) and 1.6 percent on the year (1 percent in December).


Wednesday February 22 2017
Italy Inflation Rate Revised Up To 1% In January
Istat | Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Italy rose 1 percent year-on-year in January of 2017 following 0.5 percent increase in the previous month and above preliminary estimates of 0.9 percent. It is the highest inflation rate since August of 2013, mainly boosted by cost of food and transport. On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased by 0.3 percent, above preliminary estimates of 0.2 percent.

Compared with January 2016, the biggest upward pressure came from food and non-alcoholic beverages (1.3 percent from 0.8 in December); transport (3.2 percent from 2.2 percent); restaurants and hotels (1.1 percent from 0.7 percent). Also, housing prices fell less (-0.5 percent from -1.8 percent in December).

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, declined to 0.5 percent from 0.6 percent the previous month. Excluding only energy, the inflation went up to 0.8 percent from 0.7 percent in December.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased by 0.3 percent, following a 0.4 percent rise in December, mainly due to the increase of prices of food (1.3 percent), housing (0.7 percent), restaurants and hotels (0.1 percent) and health (0.2 percent).

The harmonized index rose by 1 percent on the year and fell by 1.7 percent from the previous month. 


Thursday February 16 2017
Italy Trade Surplus Widens In December
Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's trade surplus rose to €5.80 billion in December 2016 from €5.59 billion in the same month of the previous year and better than market expectations of €4.0 billion. Exports increased by 5.7 percent to €36.2 billion, led by higher purchases of coke and refined petroleum products and vehicles; while imports grew by 6.1 percent to €30.4 billion, as purchases of vehicles and machinery and equipment rose the most.

Year-on-year, exports rose 5.7 percent to €36.21 billion from €34.26 billion, boosted by higher sales of: Coke and refined petroleum products (21.8 percent); vehicles (21.3 percent); sport goods, games, musical instruments and other products (12.3 percent); substances and chemicals (11 percent); and base metals (9.7 percent). By contrast, exports fell for transport equipment (-17 percent). By main industrial groups, sales rose for: Energy (24.5 percent); intermediate goods (6.5 percent); capital goods (4.8 percent); and consumer goods (4.3 percent).

The biggest increases in shipments were reported for China (20.9 percent); MERCOSUR countries (19.9 percent); Poland (19.1 percent); the US (12.1 percent); and Germany (10.3 percent). Meanwhile, sales fell to the Netherlands (-3.9 percent), Romania (-3.7 percent) and Switzerland (-3.5 percent).

Imports increased 6.1 percent to €30.42 billion from €32.90 billion in December 2015, led by gains in purchases of: Vehicles (29.3 percent); machinery and equipment (25 percent); coke and refined petroleum products (21.8 percent); crude oil (16.4 percent); and base metals (13.3 percent). Meanwhile, imports dropped for: transport equipment (-21 percent); and natural gas (-6.6 percent). By main industrial groups, purchases rose for: Capital goods (9.8 percent); energy (8.2 percent); intermediate goods (4.2 percent); and consumer goods (3.6 percent).

The rise in imports mainly reflected the increase in purchases from OPEC countries (67.7 percent), Turkey (29.7 percent), ASEAN countries (24.4 percent), MERCOSUR countries (17 percent) and Czech Republic (12.8 percent). By contrast, imports declined the most from the UK (-16.1 percent), China (-5 percent) and Romania (-2.6 percent).

With European Union countries, Italy registered a trade surplus of €0.12 billion, compared with a deficit of €0.30 billion euros in December 2015.

Considering the full year of 2016, the global trade surplus widened sharply to a record high of €51.57 billion from €41.81 billion in 2015. Exports grew 1.1 percent to €417.0 billion, due to higher sales of pharmaceutical products and medicines (6.8 percent), motor vehicles (6.3 percent), transport equipment (4.6 percent) and food, beverages and tobacco (4.2 percent). Exports went up to Japan (9.6 percent), China and Czech Republic (6.4 percent both), Spain (6.1 percent) and Germany (3.8 percent). Meanwhile, imports shrank 1.4 percent to €365.4 billion, due to lower purchases of natural gas (-28.5 percent) and crude oil (-20.4 percent). The drop in imports was mainly determined by purchases from Russia (-26.3 percent).


Tuesday February 14 2017
Italian GDP Growth Eases To 0.2% In Q4
Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's gross domestic product advanced 0.2 percent on quarter in the three months to December 2016, easing from a 0.3 percent growth in the previous period and in line with market expectations, the preliminary estimate showed.

The expansion was driven by domestic demand, while trade flows were a drag on growth. On the production side, industry and services activity expanded, while agriculture contracted.

Compared with the same quarter a year earlier, the GDP advanced 1.1 percent, the same as in the third quarter and also in line with market expectations.

In 2016, the GDP advanced 0.9 percent, the most in six years, following a 0.7 percent increase the year before and slightly better than 0.8 percent projected by the government. For 2017, the economy is expected to expand by 1 percent.


Friday February 03 2017
Italian Inflation Rate Highest Since September 2013
Istat | Deborah Neves | deborah.neves@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Italty are expected to rise 0.9 percent year-on-year in January of 2017 following 0.5 percent increase in the previous month and matching market expectations. It is the highest inflation rate since September of 2013, mainly boosted by cost of energy and unprocessed food, preliminary estimates showed. On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased by 0.2 percent.

Compared with January of 2016, the biggest upward pressure came from prices of non-regulated energy products (9 percent compared to 2.4 percent in December of 2016), unprocessed food (5.3 percent from 1.8 percent), food and non-alcoholic beverages (2.3 percent from 0.8 percent), transport (3.2 percent from 2.2 percent); restaurants and hotels (1 percent from 0.7 percent); miscellaneous goods and services (0.9 percent, the same pace as in December); clothing and footwear (0.5 percent, the same as in December) and health (0.4 percent, the same as in December). Meanwhile, housing prices (-0.5 percent from -1.8 percent in November) and cost of regulated energy products (-3 percent from -5.8 percent) declined less.

Annual core inflation rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, rose to 0.7 percent from 0.8 percent the previous month. Excluding only energy, the inflation went up to 0.8 percent from 0.7 percent in December of 2016.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased by 0.2 percent, following a 0.4 percent rise in December, mainly due to a decrease in prices of services related to transport (-1.7 percent) that offset a rise in non-regulated energy products (3 percent), unprocessed food (2.9 percent) and regulated energy products (1.3 percent).

In January of 2017, the harmonized index fell 2 percent month-over-month while increased 0.7 percent year-on-year.


Tuesday January 31 2017
Italian Unemployment Rate Unchanged At 18-Month High
Istat | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

Italy's seasonally adjusted jobless rate came in at 12 percent in December 2016, unchanged from the revised November's figure and higher than market expectations of 11.8 percent. It was the highest reading since June 2015, as the number of unemployed persons rose 0.3 percent from the previous month while employment showed no growth.

There were 3.103 million unemployed people, 9 thousand more than in the previous month. Employment rose by 1 thousand to 22.783 million and those detached from the labour force decreased by 15 thousand to 13.485 million.

Youth unemployment, measuring job seekers between 15 and 24 years old, also increased to 40.1 percent, its highest level since June 2015, from a revised 40 percent in November.

The overall employment rate, one of the lowest in the Eurozone, was unchanged at 57.3 percent.