Industrial production in Italy in 2009 fell by 17.5 per cent compared to 2008 according to the national statistics institute ISTAT. This is the sharpest annual fall since 1991, the first year in which these year-on-year comparisons were made. The sectors that showed the most marked declines were the iron and steel industry (-29.1 per cent over the same period), machinery manufacture (-28.7 per cent), electrical and domestic appliances (-26.8 per cent) and car manufacturing (-21.3 per cent). Gas and electricity production contracted by 8.9 per cent while the food and drink industry showed the smallest drop at 1.6 per cent. The only sector to show positive growth was the pharmaceutical industry, which increased production by 2.8 per cent.
Month-on-month industrial production figures show that December 2009 registered a decline of 2.3 per cent compared to the same month the year before and 0.7 per cent compared to November 2009.