The services sector in Italy grew for the fourth consecutive month in April, and at the fastest rate since August 2021, due to mounting confidence and ongoing growth in new business.

This is according to the findings of a survey published on Thursday.

The HCOB Global's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 57.6 last month from March's reading of 55.7, moving further above the 50-mark that divides growth from contraction.

April's result exceeded the average forecast in a survey of 10 analysts by Reuters news agency of 56.7.

"Italy's services sector seems to be gaining robustness, and this may have something to do with tourism, which according to the statistics authority, has started the year with extraordinary growth rates," according to Tariq Kamal Chaudhry, an economist at HCOB.

In addition, the survey's new business sub-index moved up to 56.3 from 56.2, whilst the indicator for business expectations rose to 65.7 from 64.9.

That said, price trends were not as positive. The sub-index for input prices increased to 62.9 from 61.5, whilst the prices charged index rose to 54.4 from 53.6.

"Companies are again having to contend with rising costs, as input prices have risen more sharply compared with March," according to economist Tariq Kamal Chaudhry.

Furthermore, the PMI for the country's smaller manufacturing sector, which was published earlier in the week, stood at 46.9, a decline from 51.1 in March, representing the weakest reading since October last year.

Whereas the composite Purchasing Managers' Index merging services and manufacturing was at 55.3 in April, a rise from 55.2 in March, the Reuters report adds.

Moreover, the country's economy increased by 0.5% between January and March compared to the previous quarter, a more robust recovery than forecast after a minor contraction at the end of 2022, according to preliminary data released last week.

News you might like

Media contact

deVere Italia’s Public Relations Department deals with all areas of the media and external communications including international, national, regional, local, trade, consumer, print, broadcast, social and online. The Department aims to provide a helpful service to journalists, broadcasters and editors, amongst others, and reply to all media enquiries, including urgent enquiries out of hours, within agreed deadlines. Our press office does not have access to client details and will not be able to assist with individual client enquiries. Please contact deVere Italia’s Head of Public Relations on [email protected] or call +44 2071220925