Latest data released by Markit - 5 August 2020

  • Prior 46.4
  • Composite PMI 52.5 vs 51.8 expected
  • Prior 47.6

Italian services activity returned to growth in July, picking up further following the easing of lockdown restrictions in the country. Demand conditions were seen improving slightly but the data is said to indicate a still muted recovery so far.

Markit notes that:

"Italy's services economy returned to growth during July, with business activity rising for the first time since February as looser lockdown restrictions allowed the economy to reopen. Inflows of new business were broadly stable, following the unprecedented collapse seen earlier in the year.

"That said, July's survey data indicated a still muted recovery so far, with the marginal gain in activity supported again by backlogs of work and firms continuing to report that customer numbers remain well down. Moreover, export demand continued to decline at a marked rate, with ongoing lockdown restrictions around the world further stifling foreign demand.

"Encouragingly, the 12-month outlook improved further, with the Future Activity Index reaching a six-month high. Improved demand conditions, looser COVID-19 related restrictions and hopes of an economic recovery were all linked to optimism. Although the recovery may be underway, there is an abundance of ground to make up following such an extensive downturn, with ongoing downside risks stemming from a "second wave" of the pandemic and the reintroduction of lockdown measures."