Italian manufacturing output fell even faster in March than expected. In the third month of the year, nearly a third less was produced than a year earlier due to the lockdown that came into effect that month due to the corona virus, Italian statistics agency Istat reports.
Adjusted for working days, manufacturing output fell by 29.3 percent. Economists generally assumed a decrease of 18.3 percent.
The Italian economy has been hard hit by measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Factories were shut down for large parts of the past few months and were only allowed to open again this month. Precise data on what that has meant for the economy is now slowly emerging. The European Commission said in its spring forecast that it expects an economic downturn of 9.5 percent this year for the southern European country, the most severe in the entire European Union.