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Italy economy expected to contract in 2012, 2013

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A man looking for job opportunities on newspapers in a shop in Naples, Italy.

Newly-released figures show that Italy’s economy will shrink further in 2012 and 2013 as the country’s recession continues to take its toll.

Italy’s National Institute for Statistics (Istat) said on Monday that gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to fall by 2.3 percent due to a decrease in domestic demand.

According to Istat, “Total investment will drop substantially due to tight credit conditions and persistent negative economic sentiment (while) private consumption is expected to fall,” indicating a slump in purchasing power and a rise in unemployment.

On October 31, the agency published figures showing unemployment rate in Italy at a new record high of 10.8 percent in September, the highest in almost eight years.

Istat further said growth would also shrink by an additional 0.5 percent in 2013 due to continued weakness in private consumption and investment, while exports would serve as a crutch.

The agency also warned that, “A revival of euro-area financial tensions, widening sovereign credit risk spreads on Italian bonds and a slower-than-expected global trade recovery could… lead to a deeper and longer recession in 2013.”

Italy started to experience recession after its economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the third quarter and by 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Over the past decade, Italy has been the slowest growing economy in the eurozone.

Tough austerity measures, spending cuts, and pension changes introduced by Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti’s government have stirred serious concerns for many people already grappling with the European country’s ailing economy.


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