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Data shows Italy’s recession enters third year

 
 
 
 
 
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Italy’s economy has entered its third year of recession after its gross domestic product (GDP) continued to contract in the third quarter of this year, official data shows.

The national statistics office, Istat, reported on Thursday that Italy’s GDP shrank by 0.1 percent in the July-to-September period, marking the ninth quarterly contraction in a row.

Furthermore, the figures showed that on an annual basis, the Italian economy contracted by 1.9 percent.

According to Istat, the negative data resulted from lower activity in the agricultural and service sectors.

The third quarter contraction disappointed Italy’s biggest entrepreneurs association, Confindustria, which had predicted in September that the economy would stop shrinking in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, Italy’s unemployment rate rose to 12.5 percent in September — the highest figure since 1977.

The country is suffering its most serious recession since World War II, which erupted when its economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the third quarter of 2011 and by 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of the same year.

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

Italians have been staging protests against high unemployment, economic adversity, and hardship over a series of government-imposed austerity packages during the recent years.

The government says the reforms are needed to create jobs, increase competition, and cut costs in the economy.

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