Italy's National Statistics Institute (ISTAT) reported Tuesday that overall industrial production for 2020 was down 11.4 percent compared to the previous year.
Media reports say it is the worst one-year decrease in industrial production in Italy since 2009, the year after the start of the world financial crisis. ISTAT said it was the second-worst full-year reduction since it started keeping records in 1990.
But there were some positive indicators in ISTAT's report. In December, production was down just 0.2 percent compared to November despite a normal cyclical decline in production in the last month of the year. Compared to December 2019, production was 2.0-percent lower when corrected for the fact that there was an extra workday in December 2020 compared to the same month a year earlier.
For the final three months of the year, industrial production was down 0.8 percent compared to the previous economic quarter.
Among specific areas, only intermedia goods -- industrial products used to make completed for-sale goods, such as machine parts -- saw a strong increase in production, rising by 4.1 percent in December. Consumer goods fell the most, down by 9.8 percent in December compared to the previous month.
Analysts have told Xinhua that Italy's industrial production is suffering both from health rules that limit access to factories and domestic production as well as economic slowdowns in other countries that limit their imports of Italian products. Of Italy's leading trading partners, only China finished 2020 with positive economic growth.