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Italian factories slashing workforce – Bloomberg

The country’s manufacturing sector is contracting as recession deepens, the outlet has said 

Factories in Italy have started to lay off employees as the manufacturing sector in the country continues to contract, Bloomberg reported on Friday.   

Data based on the Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) compiled by S&P Global showed that the EU’s third-largest economy slid to 45.4 in August, well below the mark of 50, indicating a contraction.   

Italian industry and manufacturing, in particular, have been struggling in the past several months due to a lack of new orders as global demand weakened.   

“The manufacturing recession, which started mid-last year, continues to stretch out,” Tariq Kamal Chaudhry, an economist at Hamburg Commercial Bank, said. “Once more, overall orders felt the squeeze, mostly due to overseas demand.”   

Industrial weakness continues to weigh on the Italian economy, dragging it into contraction. The latest estimates showed that the country’s economy shrank by 0.4% instead of the earlier predicted 0.3% in the three months through June.   

READ MORE: Major EU economy sees jump in unemployment

Meanwhile, economists warn that the country’s labor market is also showing signs of exhaustion.   

“On the employment front, job losses were recorded for the first time in three years,” S&P Global said in a statement on Friday. “Several panelists signaled the non-replacement of leavers at their plants.”   

According to official statistics, unemployment in Italy grew to 7.6% in July, with 73,000 jobs lost.

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