Recession hits Italy

Published: January 31, 2019 18:40:33 | Updated: February 01, 2019 17:33:20

Italy's economy tipped into recession at the end of last year, according to latest figures.

In the final three months of 2018, the economy shrank by 0.2 per cent, following a 0.1 per cent decline in the third quarter, the Istat statistics office said.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the contraction was likely to continue into 2019.

Meanwhile, figures from the EU showed economic growth in the 19-country eurozone still languishing.

Growth in the euro area remained at 0.2 per cent in the final quarter of 2018, the same as the previous quarter and in line with analysts' expectations.

The figures, issued by the Eurostat agency, showed that in the 28-nation EU as a whole, fourth-quarter growth was 0.3 per cent.

In contrast to Italy, some other eurozone economies expanded more than expected, with France and Spain posting growth rates of 0.3 per cent and 0.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter respectively.

Italy's statistics office said agriculture, forestry, fishing and industry had all contributed to the economic downturn, while a rise in net exports failed to offset those declines.

Italy's coalition government was forced to revise its expansionary 2019 budget last month after the European Commission raised concerns about the impact on the country's debt levels, reports BBC.

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