PRESSEMITTEILUNG | Italy manufacturing PMI near five-year high at end of 2015 – Economics Flash.

01/04/15 | Italy – Manufacturing PMI (Dec): 55.6
UniCredit: 54.6 —– Consensus: 54.9 —– Last: 54.9

Italy manufacturing PMI rose from 54.9 to 55.6 in December, contrary to our expectation of a slight decline. This is the third consecutive increase in the manufacturing PMI and the highest reading since March 2011. Today’s outcome shows that the improvement in sentiment at companies continues – the quarterly average for the fourth quarter was a good point above the average for 3Q15 – opening the way for further progress on the recovery of manufacturing activity. The improvement in the headline index was driven mainly by further significant acceleration in output and new orders, with the increase in the new orders index mainly due to an improvement in domestic demand, which continues to benefit from low energy prices. In contrast, the new export orders index, although remaining at a healthy level, was slightly weaker than in November, indicating that a weak global trade environment continued to persist at the end of the year. Overall, the December improvement in the manufacturing PMI bodes well for our expectation of acceleration in GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2015 (our call is for 0.4% qoq), mainly driven by further improvement in domestic demand and a return to moderate export growth, thanks to demand from advanced economies and the impulse coming from a weak euro.

The survey breakdown shows that both the output and new orders components rose by about 1.0 point each, hitting the 58 level, while the new export orders sub-index declined from 56.5 to 55.5. The inventory index also rose slightly, from 47.1 to 47.4, supporting a small increase in the forward-looking, new-orders-to-inventories ratio, to 1.22 from 1.21. The employment component was up from 53.9 to 54, hitting a five-month high, which took the quarterly average for the last quarter to 53.8, one point higher compared to 3Q15. This points to some improvement in the pace of job creation towards the end of 2015. On the price side, input prices rose further, from 45.7 to 48.9, although they remained in contractionary territory, while the output price index was up from 49.0 to 50.9, returning above the expansion threshold of 50.

Dr. Loredana Federico
UniCredit Research

Corporate & Investment Banking
UniCredit Bank AG, Milan Branch
Piazza Gae Aulenti, 4 – Tower C
I-20154 Milan

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