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Italy Sees Economic Downturn

Posted 384 days ago | 31.01.19

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Italy Sees Economic Downturn

In the final three months of 2018, the economy of Italy shrank by 0.2%, following a 0.1% decline in the third quarter, the Istat Otatistics office reports.

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

Current figures from the EU show economic growth in the 19-country eurozone is still languishing, with growth in the euro area remaining at 0.2% in the final quarter of 2018, the same as the previous quarter and in line with analysts' expectations.

Figures issued by the Eurostat agency showed that in the 28-nation EU as a whole, fourth-quarter growth was 0.3%.

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 balance 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.

Italy has the biggest government debt in the EU at more than €2.3 trillion ($2.6tn; £2tn). It is also the fourth-largest government debt in the world.

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