Italian seasonally adjusted industrial output unexpectedly fell 0.4 percent in April, national statistics office ISTAT said on Monday, a sign that growth may be faltering at the start of the second quarter.
Industrial output climbed a seasonally adjusted 1.0 percent in April after rising a revised 2.9 percent in March (previously reported 2.8 percent).
Both results were well below a Reuters poll of 10 analysts that had pointed toward a 0.2 percent monthly gain and a 2.4 percent rise on the year.
Italian output shows a close correlation with gross domestic product, which expanded 0.4 percent in the first quarter thanks to strong domestic demand, ISTAT said earlier this month.
According to PMI figures, Italian manufacturing expanded at its fastest rate in six years in April. Manufacturing activity then slowed in May, but remained strong, the latest survey showed.
On a work-day adjusted year-on-year basis, output in April fell 6.5 percent, compared with a revised 7.7 percent gain in March (previously reported 7.6 percent rise).