Italy′s industrial orders slump precariously | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 20.06.2012
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Italy's industrial orders slump precariously

Italy has logged a marked drop in industrial orders in April, thus not being able to continue a slight recovery seen in the previous month. Analysts are increasingly worried about the country's competitiveness.

Italy saw its industrial orders drop considerably in April, the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) announced on Wednesday.

In seasonally adjusted terms, orders in the fourth-largest eurozone economy were down 1.9 percent month-on-month due to a 4.0-percent dip in foreign orders and a less pronounced 0.3-percent decrease in demand on the domestic market.

The negative results followed a 3.5-percent rise in orders in March. In year-on-year terms, April's figures were down 12.3 percent. "All sectors suffered, but transport orders, which slumped by 16.5 percent, had been particularly hard hit," ISTAT said in a statement.

No silver lining in sight

Official figures released on Wednesday also indicated that Italian industry sales dropped in April by 4.1 percent on a year and 0.5 percent month-on-month. "Italy has basically stopped being present on important world markets," the president of the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA), Anton Börner, told the Handelsblatt business newspaper.

Italy saw its gross domestic product (GDP) contract again in the first quarter of the current year in the wake of austerity measures imposed to stave off the eurozone debt crisis.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti is to host a meeting of leaders from the euro area's four biggest economies on June 22. The gathering is to reach a bigger common understanding on how the debt crisis must be tackled and what structural reforms must be carried out to help countries like Italy become more competitive again.

hg/ccp (Reuters, AFP)