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Italy

Conflicting signals are coming from the domestic non-ferrous metals market - a faithful reflection of what the LME gives us on a daily basis. Uncertainty reigns supreme and is the harbinger of passing enthusiasm and/or desperation: it is becoming really difficult to find the “deal of a lifetime” in a world where information is increasingly shared.

In October, the employment rate achieved its highest level since 1977 while unemployment and inactivity rates fell to 7.8% and 34.3%, respectively.

There was also a green light for GDP: the Italian economy grew by 0.5% during the third quarter when compared to the previous three months and by 2.6% compared to the same period in 2021, with growth for the whole of 2022 equalling 3.9%. The increase hinged on domestic demand and services.

It was an orange light instead for inflation, which in November mirrored the October rate of 11.8%. With prices slowing in the rest of Europe, this is a sign of weakness for the Italian economy with inflation at levels not seen since March 1984.

Meanwhile, it is undoubtedly a red light for the costs of gas and other wholesale raw materials given that bills continue to weigh heavily on Italians’ pockets.