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Italy’s manufacturing activity grew less than expected in July, survey results from IHS Markit showed on Monday.

The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ index dropped to 60.3 in July from 62.2 in June. The score was forecast to fall 61.5.

Nonetheless, the latest reading was the fourth highest on record and pointed to a rapid improvement in the health of the manufacturing sector.

There were rapid upturns in output and new orders but the pace softened from June. Firms raised their employment at the joint fourth quickest on record.

Inflationary pressures remained severe in July. Input prices rose at the second quickest pace on record. In response, firms increased their average charges at the steepest rate in the series history.

Firms remained upbeat towards the year-ahead outlook for output. Nonetheless, the level of sentiment moderated to a 15-month low.


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