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Italy suffers record fall in income for 2012

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Italians staging a protest against austerity in Rome

Official figures show that Italian households have experienced a record fall in income for 2012, as the country’s economy is expected to remain bleak.

Italy’s national statistics agency Istat reported on Tuesday that the households’ purchasing power contracted by 4.8 percent last year, making it the worst result since 1990 for Eurozone’s third-largest economy.

Consumer groups such as Federconsumatori and Adusbef have responded to the figure as “dramatic” while another group Codacons blamed the introduction of the euro in 2002 for the declining of Italian living standards.

The country’s government said in March that it expected the gross domestic product to contract by another 1.3 percent for 2013 however analysts from Barclays Capital believe it would shrink by 1.5 percent.

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

Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. The worsening debt crisis has forced the EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures, triggering protests against spending cuts in many European countries.


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