Italy March services PMI 48.6 vs 49.0 expected

Author: Justin Low | Category: News

Latest data released by Markit - 7 April 2021

  • Prior 48.8
  • Composite PMI 51.9 vs 52.2 expected
  • Prior 51.4
The readings miss on expectations as decline in new work weighed on the services activity in Italy last month. Business confidence remains buoyed on vaccine optimism but tighter virus restrictions continue to negatively impact current demand for now.

"Italy's service sector remained stuck in a downturn at the close of the first quarter. Business activity fell further, in part due to a renewed dip in inflows of new work, with panelists citing weak demand due to COVID-19 restrictions. Nonetheless, confidence at services firms was the strongest for over a decade, with firms confident of a solid recovery once measures are eased amid the vaccine rollout.

"Despite the poor services performance, private sector output across Italy rose further during March as the strongest growth of factory production for over three years outweighed the fall in services activity. New business increased again, and at the quickest rate since September 2018, while export orders rose at the steepest rate on record.

"Overall, data highlight a mixed bag for the Italian economy. Positively, the recovery was sustained in spite of restrictions, with services appearing much more resilient than during the spring of last year. Indeed, companies are at their most upbeat on record towards output over the next year, with confidence stemming from hopes of a strong rebound and looser restrictions. But, saying that, optimism was pegged to a successful vaccine rollout, while the downturn in services is a key concern for the economic recovery. With a third wave of infections across Europe prompting even stricter lockdowns, we could see the recovery waver in the short term."

By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies, revised Privacy Notice and Terms of Service. More information about cookiesClose