News Column

Italy Service Sector Activity Unexpectedly Declines In August

September 3, 2014

ROME (Alliance News) - Italy's service sector activity unexpectedly decreased in August for the first time in four months as output, new orders and employment declined, survey data from Markit Economics showed Wednesday.

The Markit/ADACI Services Purchasing Managers' Index dropped to 49.8 from 52.8 in July. Economists had expected the score to ease slightly to 52.

A PMI reading above 50 suggests expansion in the sector. The latest fall was the first since March.

New orders declined in August, ending a seven-month sequence of gains. Consequently, firms shed staff, extending the trend to 39 months. Firms' output expectations for the year ahead also weakened with confidence falling to its lowest level since last December and well below the survey-average.

Output prices declined sharply due to competitive pressures and the rate of decrease accelerated for a second month running to its fastest pace in over a year. Factory-gate prices have fallen for 37 months. Input prices rose at the slowest pace since April.

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Source: Alliance News

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