Italian Economy Shows Strongest GDP Decline in History

The Italian economy in the first quarter of 2020 fell by 5.3% compared to the previous quarter and by 5.4% in annual terms, according to the final data of the statistical agency Istat.

This is the maximum drop in GDP since the beginning of statistics in 1996, which is due to a sharp decline in economic activity against the background of restrictive measures to combat the coronavirus infection COVID-19.

Preliminary data indicated an economic contraction of 4.7% in quarterly terms and 4.8% in annual terms.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, Italian GDP fell by 0.2% compared to the previous quarter, and not by 0.3%, as previously reported. At the same time, by the fourth quarter of 2018, GDP grew by 0.1%.

Consumer spending in Italy in January-March fell by 6.6% in quarterly terms, business investment fell by 8.1%, government spending fell by 0.3%. The volume of imports and exports decreased by 6.2% and 8% respectively compared to the previous quarter.

In March, Italy was at the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. Economists expected an even larger decline in GDP in the second quarter, which covers a longer period of general isolation introduced to curb the spread of COVID-19. In the second half of the year, the economy is expected to partially recover.


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