Industry: production down 0.2% in October, -1.1% on 2022

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The decline in industrial production continues, which in October in Istat surveys dropped 0.2% compared to the previous month, 1.1% compared to the same month of 2022. In trend terms, the downward cycle started in February is thus confirmed . The balance sheet for the first ten months thus sees an overall decline of 2.5% for the industry.

There is a wide gap between the sectors, with sustained growth for pharmaceuticals and especially transport, the latter progressing by almost ten points even on average for the January-October period. Electronics also performed well while there was a vertical collapse for textiles-clothing and wood-paper, down by more than eleven points. And once again chemistry, metallurgy and rubber-plastic components are bad.

Productive signs that are not surprising, looking at the many indicators that show weakness. Starting from Lombardy, the country’s leading manufacturing region, whose industry closes the third quarter in the red, as has not happened since Covid. Demand for some investments is also down, as evidenced by internal orders for machine tools, which halved between July and September. While after a positive 2022 the mechanical macro-area varies in the forecasts of the Anima category federation it will lose a point in terms of production, slowed down in particular by the construction-related supply chain, therefore valves, taps, boilers, components. A slowdown also perceived in qualitative assessments, as visible in the Istat confidence index for October (from 103.9 to 103.4 for businesses, a slowdown that has continued uninterrupted since August) or in the latest survey of the Italian Chamber of Commerce. germanica on German companies present in Italy: if in the spring a robust 62% of the sample judged the situation favorably, today it drops to 39%.

Widespread stasis is the hypothesis indicated by Prometeia and Intesa Sanpaolo, who estimate industry revenues at 1,169 billion for 2023: a limited progress of 0.7% in current values, a drop of 0.6% if we look at turnover real, taking into account the average growth in prices.

The issues have been evident for months: a decline in domestic and international demand linked to multiple factors, from geopolitical uncertainty which, together with high interest rates, limits investments to the erosion of the purchasing power of families, forced to make increasing outlays for bills and mortgages. A concrete outcome is the decline in retail sales, where in terms of volumes in September the fourth consecutive monthly decline is visible: to find a lower index you have to go back to January 2021, to the last flare-ups of Covid.

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