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Italy Sept industry output falls more than expected after four monthly rises

ROME, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Italian industrial output was much weaker than expected in September, falling 5.6% from the previous month after four consecutive gains, data showed on Tuesday.

A Reuters survey of 17 analysts had pointed to a 2.0% fall following the four-month rebound in the wake of a coronavirus lockdown in the spring.

August’s data was revised down to show a 7.4% increase, originally reported at 7.7%.

On a work-day adjusted year-on-year basis, output was down 5.1% in September, a 19th straight decline. That followed an unrevised 0.3% fall in August, national statistics bureau ISTAT reported.

Compared to February -- the last month before Italy’s coronavirus outbreak -- September’s industrial output level was down “around 4%,” ISTAT said.

In the three months to September, industrial output in the euro zone’s third largest economy was up 28.6% compared with the second quarter, which was heavily hit by the lockdown that shuttered most factories.

Production fell across the board in September from the month before, ISTAT said, with the main product sectors of consumer goods, investment goods, intermediate goods and energy products all declining.

Italian gross domestic product rebounded a stronger-than-expected 16.1% in the third quarter, ISTAT’s preliminary estimate showed last month, following the steep falls of the first two quarters due to the lockdown.

However the recovery looks set to peter out in the fourth quarter due to new curbs on business imposed to try to stem a renewed surge in COVID-19 infections and deaths.

The government of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the centre-left Democratic Party forecasts a full-year 2020 GDP decline of 9%, but most forecasters expect an even steeper drop.

ISTAT gave the following details.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION SEPT AUGUST JULY Mth/mth pct change (adjusted) -5.6 7.4r 7.3r Yr/yr pct change (adjusted) -5.1 -0.3 -8.3 Yr/yr pct change (unadjusted) -2.1 -0.3 -8.2 NOTE: BASE 2015=100. (r) indicates revised figures.

ISTAT provided the following breakdown by broad product group in September: adjusted month-on-month percent change Consumer goods -4.8 Investment goods -3.9 Intermediate goods -1.6 Energy goods -0.3