Italian industrial output was much weaker than expected in January, falling 1.2% from the month before and fully reversing a 1.2% gain in December, national statistics bureau ISTAT reported on Wednesday.

A Reuters survey of 17 analysts had pointed to a 0.5% monthly fall in January.

The data offers no sign of a pick-up for Italy's long-struggling manufacturing sectors.

December's data was revised up marginally from an originally reported 1.1% rise.

On a work-day adjusted year-on-year basis, industrial output was down 3.4% in January, the 12th consecutive decline and the steepest drop since August last year.

In the three months to January, output was down 0.9% compared with the August-to-October period, ISTAT said.

January saw a month-on-month falls for output of consumer goods and investment goods, while intermediate goods were flat and energy products increased.

Italian gross domestic product rose a quarterly 0.2% in both the fourth quarter and the third quarter of last year, yielding full-year 2023 growth of 0.9%.

Recent leading indicators have mostly pointed to a broadly stable growth rate or a modest acceleration in the first quarter of this year..

ISTAT made significant revisions to previous months' data in its January release, in which it introduced a new base year for its index (2021=100), replacing the previous 2015=100


ISTAT gave the following details. INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION JAN DEC NOV Mth/mth pct change (adjusted) -1.2 1.2r -1.3 Yr/yr pct change (adjusted) -3.4 -1.5r -2.4r Yr/yr pct change (unadjusted) -0.3 -7.4r -2.4r NOTE: BASE 2021=100 (r = revised)



ISTAT provided the following breakdown by broad product group in January: adjusted month-on-month percent change. Consumer goods -2.0 Investment goods -3.6 Intermediate goods 0.0 Energy goods 2.5