Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Italy's New Orders Index Shows Weakness

Last week when I looked at Italy, I referenced the Markit manufacturing number, which made the following point about the Italian manufacturing industry:

The downturn in Italian manufacturing continued to ease at the start of 2013, as signalled by a rise in the seasonally adjusted Markit/ADACI Purchasing
Managers’ Index® (PMI®) to a ten-month high of 47.8 in January, up from December’s mark of 46.7. A principal factor behind the increase in the
headline number was a much slower drop in output than seen in December. The latest decline in production levels was only modest, and the least marked over the current spell of contraction that began in October 2011.

Yesterday, the Italian statistics bureau issued its industrial turnover and orders number.  Unfortunately, this number does not bode well:

Click for a larger image

While the turnover number was higher, the new orders number was not.  In fact, new orders are down 1.8% from November and are down 3.7% from the third quarter.

The reason this is important is that Italian manufacturing was a bright spot for the Italian economy.  This report indicates that all is not well with the sector.