Italy's industrial orders dropped in April compared to the level a month earlier, reversing a positive trend seen in March, the National Institute of Statistics said on Wednesday.
According to seasonally-adjusted figures, orders were down 1.9 percent in April compared to March, due to a 4.0 percent slump in foreign orders, while the domestic market dipped by 0.3 percent, ISTAT said.
The negative results followed a 3.5 percent rise in orders in March.
April's orders were down 12.3 percent compared to 12 months earlier because of a 15.3 percent drop in domestic orders and a 7.3 percent slump in foreign orders, it said.
"All sectors are down," ISTAT said, adding that transport orders, which slumped 16.5 percent, had been particularly hard hit.
The official figures showed that Italian industry turnover had also dropped by 4.1 percent on a year and 0.5 percent on a month.
Italy, which entered a recession at the end of 2011, saw its Gross Domestic Product contract again in the first quarter of 2012, by 0.8 percent, in the wake of austerity measures imposed to stave off the eurozone debt crisis.