MILAN -- Industrial orders in Italy rose for the third month, official data showed on Friday, in a tentative sign that nearly two years of recession could be nearing an end.
On a month-to-month basis, industrial orders in May rose 3.2% from the April level, Istat data said, even though they slipped by 1.1% from the figure a year before.
Orders from abroad rose the most sharply, jumping by 9.4% in May from a year ago and 4% month-to-month.
Domestic orders meanwhile plummeted by 7.9% from a year ago while edging up 2.6% from the month before.
The rise in orders month-to-month backs European Union Data published late last month that signaled the outlook for Italian manufacturing may be firming.
The data, part of eurozone-wide survey on sentiment among purchasing managers in the manufacturing sector, is considered a reliable indicator of activity to come.
Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund said it expected the Italian economy to contract by 1.8% this year, from an earlier forecast of a 1.5% shrinkage.
For 2014, however, the IMF increased its forecast to 0.7% growth.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013