Italy falls into recession - for the third time in a decade
The Italian statistical agency Istat reported in its preliminary assessment that the Country's GDP contracted between October and December 2018 by 0.2%, compared to the previous quarter. Previous analyses forecasted a contraction of 0.1%.
Italy is officially in a technical recession, defined as at least two consecutive quarters of contraction. In the third quarter of 2018 in fact the GDP dropped by 0.1%.
After 2008-2009 and 2011-2013, it is the third time in the past ten years that the country slips into recession.
Spain grew by 0.7% in the last quarter, on a steady pace for the past two years, and even France, although affected by the gilet jaunes protests, grew by 0.3%. Italy appears to be the only contracting economy among the big EU Countries.
The Italian government and the European Commission agreed on a budgetary plan in December that assumes a GDP growth of 1% in the current year (down from the 1.5% that the Italian government initially declared in October).
An economic slowdown could require the revision of the agreed budget plan.