ROME (Reuters) - Italian industrial production fell more than expected in May from the month before, national statistics bureau ISTAT reported on Monday, as the country's weak economic growth continues to stutter.

Industrial output dropped 0.6 percent in May, reversing a 0.4 percent gain in April and coming in below all forecasts in a Reuters poll of ten analysts which had pointed to a marginal decline of 0.1 percent.

April's data was marginally revised down from an originally reported rise of 0.5 percent.

Industrial output, which shows a close correlation with gross domestic product (GDP) in Italy, was up 0.1 percent in the three months to May compared to the December-February period.


The euro zone's third largest economy emerged from a three-year recession at the start of 2015, but growth slowed during last year and has remained listless.

GDP rose 0.3 percent in the first three months of this year from the previous quarter, but ISTAT said last week that growth was likely to slow in the near term, based on its composite forward looking indicator.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's government officially expects full-year expansion in 2016 of 1.2 percent, accelerating from last year's rate of 0.8 percent.

However, ministers have said this outlook is likely to be revised down due to the repercussions of Britain's vote to leave the European Union in last month's referendum.

Employers' lobby Confindustria this month estimated growth of just 0.8 percent in 2016 and 0.6 percent in 2017.

Industrial output fell by around a quarter between 2008 and 2014, and has recovered only a small part of that over the last year.

In May, industrial activity was weak across the board, with output of consumer goods, intermediate items, energy products and investment goods all declining from the month before.

On a work-day adjusted year-on-year basis, output in May was down 0.6 percent, following a 1.8 percent rise in April.

ISTAT gave the following details.


Mth/mth pct change (adjusted) -0.6 0.4r 0.0

Yr/yr pct change (adjusted) -0.6 1.8 0.5

Yr/yr pct change (unadjusted) 5.7 -0.3 -0.5

NOTE: BASE 2010=100.

(r) indicates revised figures.

ISTAT provided the following breakdown by broad product group in May: adjusted month-on-month percent change

Consumer goods -0.3

Investment goods -1.8

Intermediate goods -0.9

Energy goods -0.6

(Gavin Jones)

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