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Italian recovery accelerates as sales and orders rose in July

The Italy’s economic recovery gathered further momentum in July, as sales and orders rose more than expected. According to data released by Istat, seasonally adjusted orders in July rose a monthly 0.6%, while unadjusted orders were 10.4% higher than the year earlier.

Domestic orders rose a monthly 3.1% while foreign orders fell 2.9%. On an annual basis there was a 61.3% rise in orders in the transportation sector while the biggest decline was in clothing, leather, textile and accessories, which dropped 1.9%. Italian industrial sales fell a seasonally adjusted 1.1% compared with June while they rose a workday adjusted 2.3% on the same month a year ago.

On an unadjusted basis, industrial turnover rose 2.2% year on year. Industrial sales on the domestic market fell a monthly 1.7% and rose an annual 1.2% while they rose 0.2% and 4.2% respectively on foreign markets. Industrial sales in the average of the last three months rose 1.4% compared with the previous three months with a 1.7% rise in turnover on the domestic market and a 1.0% increase in foreign ones.

The trade balance posted a positive performance as well. In August Italian trade surplus with non-European Union member states reached €1.5 billion, according to figures from statistics agency Istat. That brought Italy's non-EU trade surplus for the first eight months of the year to €20.4 billion, up from €14.5 billion in the like, year-earlier period. Italian exports to non-EU countries were down 8.1% in August compared to July while imports were 3.2% lower.

Year on year, Italian exports fell 3.4% and were down an even sharper 5.2% on a workday-adjusted basis. Imports fell 1.6% on the year earlier, as energy imports slumped 21.5%. Despite the fall of exports in August, Italian exports from January to August were €6.5 billion, or 5.6%, above the year earlier.

In the same eight months, imports inched up 0.6%, while they were 12.0% higher excluding energy products. Istat noted that exports to the U.S. were up 25.3% in the eight-month period and represented three-fourths of the year-on-year increase in Italian exports to non-EU countries in that period. In the same eight months, Italian exports to the Middle East were up 10.9% while those to Turkey were up 8.1%, those to Switzerland climbed 4.0% and exports to India rose 12.6%. On the other hand, Italian exports to Russia fell 28.6% in the first eight months of the year