Italy’s economy slows for the fourth quarter in a row

Italy’s economy contracted for the fourth quarter in a row, according to preliminary estimates published today by the National Statistics Institute ISTAT.

During the second quarter, gross domestic product decreased by 0.7% from the previous quarter and 2.5% compared to June 2011.

The contraction was slightly better than expected but austerity measures implemented by the government are likely to continue to affect both industrial production and consumer spending.

The Italian government is currently implementing €20bn  of budget cuts to bring Italy’s deficit within the EU limit.

Recent data showed that factory output in June slumped 1.4% compared to May and 8.2% year on year.

Business confidence also fell last month, as entrepreneurs expect the recession to worsen in coming months.

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