Italian industrial output was much weaker than expected in April, falling 1.0% from the month before after an unrevised 0.5% decline in March, data showed on Monday, underscoring the travails of the country's struggling manufacturing sector.

A Reuters survey of nine analysts had pointed to a 0.2% monthly gain in April.

On a work-day adjusted year-on-year basis, industrial output in the euro zone's third largest economy was down 2.9% in April, national statistics bureau ISTAT said - the 15th consecutive annual decline.

In the three months to April output was down 1.3% compared with the November-to-January period.

April saw month-on-month declines in output of investment goods, intermediate goods and energy products, while consumer goods stagnated.

Italian gross domestic product rose 0.3% in the first quarter from the previous three months, data showed at the end of May, following marginal 0.1% growth in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Most analysts expect similar weak growth in the coming quarters, yielding full year expansion of between 0.7% and 1%, broadly in line with last year's 0.9% rate.

ISTAT last week revised up its own forecast for 2024 growth to 1.0% from a previous projection of 0.7% made in December.

(Reporting By Gavin Jones, graphic by Stefano Bernabei)