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Alert in the European Economy: Italy’s Recession

The Italian economy registered a fall of 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the provisional data published on Thursday by the Italian National Institute of Statistics (Istat), which means that the country is officially in a technical recession.

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The Italian economy registered a fall of 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the provisional data published on Thursday by the Italian National Institute of Statistics (Istat), which means that the country is officially in a technical recession.

“In the third quarter of 2018, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had registered a fall of 0.1% compared to the previous quarter.”

However, the institute explained that GDP increased by 0.1% in the fourth quarter of the year in year-on-year terms.

According to the Istat, the variation of GDP in the fourth quarter of the year with respect to the third is mainly due to a decrease in the value added in the agricultural, forestry and fishing sectors and in the industrial sector and a substantial stability of services.

The figure confirms the fears of the Italian government that already advanced on Wednesday that expected a negative GDP, something that, according to official sources, is the responsibility of past mismanagement.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte defended Wednesday that these numbers do not depend on his administration and argued that the Italian economy is being affected by negative economic data.

In this regard, he cited the cases of Germany, which has reduced its growth forecast for 2019 to 1% of GDP, compared to 1.8% initially estimated, or China, which is experiencing an economic slowdown.

The macroeconomic picture of the Government forecasts a 1% growth for 2019, but organizations such as the Bank of Italy or the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are less optimistic and believe that it will only do so by 0.6%.

Italy was already in a technical recession in 2014, when GDP also contracted by 0.2% in the second quarter of the year with respect to the first, and the first one by 0.1% compared to the last of 2013.

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