Italy's economy shrank in 2012 official data show

Mar 01, 2013 12:00 AM

Newly-released figures show that Italy's economy shrank in 2012 as the country’s recession continues to take its toll.

Italy’s National Institute for Statistics (Istat) said that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 2.4 percent due to a decrease in domestic demand.

Istat reported that the index for manufacturing, construction, services and trade sectors dropped to 77.4 points for the month of February from 80 in January.

The European Commission said earlier that Italy would continue in its economic hardship including a rise in unemployment to hit 12 percent in 2014.

On October 31, 2012 Istat published figures showing unemployment rate in Italy at a new record high of 10.8 percent in September, the highest in almost eight years.

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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