Markit Economics released its manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for Italy on Friday. Italy's Markit/ADACI manufacturing PMI increased to 53.5 in March from 52.2 in February.
The increase was driven by a faster growth in output, new orders and exports.
"The manufacturing sector ended the first quarter on a solid footing, according to the latest PMI data, with March seeing accelerated growth in output and inflows of new orders. Moreover, with inventories of finished goods falling sharply, there's a good chance that production will be ramped up further to replenish stock," Markit economist Phil Smith said.