Italy's manufacturing sector conditions deteriorated at the fastest pace in six months in September, amid a fall in both output and new orders, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Tuesday.
The manufacturing purchasing managers' index, or PMI, fell to 47.8 in September from 48.7 in August. Economists had forecast a score of 48.1. However, any reading below 50 indicates a contraction in the sector.
Output and new orders decreased for the fourteenth straight month.
Manufacturing output decreased at the fastest pace since April and new orders fell at the sharpest rate in six months.
Manufacturers decreased their workforce numbers, which lead to a marginal decline in the headcount that was faster than seen in August. Jobs were trimmed for the fourth month in a row in September. Backlogs of work declined at the fastest pace since August last year.
On the price front, input prices and output charges fell in September. Prices of raw material were lowered and output charges decreased as manufacturers tried to a attract customer orders.
Business confidence regarding the year ahead outlook for output weakened to the lowest in nine months in September.
"The downturn appears to be entrenched with further declines in employment and purchasing activity recorded in September," Amritpal Virdee, economist at IHS Markit, said.
"As such, latest PMI data suggest that the manufacturing economy is limping towards the final quarter of the year and, on its current trajectory, will end up smaller than when it entered the downturn in early-2018."