Italy factory growth weakest in 1-1/2 years
The purchasing managers' index for the factory sector fell to 51.5 from 53.5 in June. A PMI score above 50 indicates growth in activity.
Output growth was the slowest since January 2015, when the current rising trend began. New orders increased at a weaker pace, partly due to a slowdown in new export orders, which was the softest since October 2014.
Despite the softer performance in July, manufacturers continue to hire staff. Employment grew for the 19th straight month and at a solid pace.
Output prices increased at the slowest pace since February and input prices climbed partly due to higher prices for some metals and fuel. ■