An employee works on a AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter at a Leonardo SpA plant in Vergiate, Italy. (Photographer: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg)  

Italian Industrial Output Falls in Slowdown Sign for New Leaders

(Bloomberg) -- Italian industrial production declined far more than expected in April, adding to signs of a slowdown in economic growth just as the new government tries to reassure investors on the country’s outlook.

Output decreased 1.2 percent from March, when it rose 1.2 percent, national statistics institute Istat said in Rome on Monday. Economists had predicted it would fall 0.5 percent in April, according to the median of 18 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey. From a year earlier, work-day adjusted industrial output rose 1.9 percent.

Italian Industrial Output Falls in Slowdown Sign for New Leaders

In the first quarter of 2018 the Italian economy recorded a slight deceleration, due to the effects of lower investments and less net foreign demand, Istat said earlier this month. The institute said Thursday its leading indicator suggests a deceleration in economic activity for the coming months as well.

Investors remain wary of the outlook for Italy’s public finances amid the ambitious plans of the new government for tax cuts and increased spending. The national debt is more than 130 percent of gross domestic product.

Italy’s economy expanded 1.5 percent last year, the most since 2010. The same pace is forecast for this year, which would make Italy the slowest-growing country in the 19-nation euro area, according to the European Union.

The new finance minister, Giovanni Tria, in an interview published over the weekend, confirmed Italy’s commitment to the euro common currency.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.