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Industrial production dangerously weak, says economist

Italy not on pace for 'fast recovery', says research group

10 March, 15:52
Industrial production dangerously weak, says economist (See related) (ANSA) - Bologna, March 10 - With Italy's industrial production rate stalled at only about 1.4% per year, it will be 2016 before the economy recovers to levels last seen in 2011, an economist with research firm Nomisma said Monday.

Sergio De Nardis spoke after national statistics agency Istat said that industrial production grew by 1% in January compared with the same time one year earlier - the highest month on month rise since August 2011.

"At these growth rates, only in 2016 will there be levels of industrial activity equal to 2011", said De Nardis. "This is not a fast recovery, given the depths from which we must climb," he said.

The increase recorded in January only offsets an unexpected decline in December.

Making matters worse, monthly industrial production is averaging a growth rate of just 0.3%.

That means the annual increase this year will only be about 2.5% compared with 2013 and about 15% below 2007 levels.

Still, said De Nardis, the picture is not entirely bleak.

"The data confirms we are on a path of recovery, driven by foreign demand," he said.