• Prior 55.9
  • Composite PMI 54.7
  • Prior 57.6

The reading indicates a cooling of growth momentum, as new work expanded at a slower pace while export orders dipped last month. Of note, inflationary pressures remained severe and that will add to cost burdens to both businesses and consumers. Markit notes that:

"The Italian services sector saw sustained growth in December, rounding off the final quarter of the year with a solid performance. There was evidence that momentum is cooling, however, as the rate of expansion in business activity eased noticeably amid a slower upturn in new work and a fresh reduction in inflows of new business from abroad.

"Although firms continued to take on additional staff, the rate of job creation eased to the slowest since May, while companies continued to battle with near-record cost increases and subsequently raised their own charges sharply.

"Manufacturing growth also cooled in the final month of 2021, although remained much stronger than services, resulting in a slightly weaker upturn in Italian private sector output, but one that was sharp in the context of historical data. Demand conditions remained strong overall, and as a result, firms are confident of higher activity levels over the coming year.

"Rising COVID-19 rates across the continent, combined with ongoing supply issues and surging inflationary pressures are the most significant stumbling blocks facing firms in 2022, but as we turn the corner into the new year, the Italian economy appears to be in a strong position."