ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s services sector grew for a sixth month running in November but at its slowest rate since May, a survey showed on Wednesday, suggesting the euro zone’s third largest economy will continue to struggle in the near term.
The IHS Markit Business Activity Index for services fell to 50.4 from 52.2 in October, holding only marginally above the 50 threshold that separates growth from contraction.
A Reuters survey of 13 analysts had forecast a smaller decline to 51.2.
The sub-index for new business in the services sector declined to 50.8 from 52.9.
IHS Markit’s sister survey for manufacturing, published on Monday, showed activity contracting for a 14th month running in November, and at roughly the same rate as the month before.
The composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for services and manufacturing fell in November to 49.6 from 50.8, IHS Markit said, pointing to a contraction for the first time since May.
The government of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the center-left Democratic Party forecasts 2019 growth of just 0.1%, leaving Italy in its customary position among the euro zone’s most sluggish economies.