01 May 2019
The first quarter of the year saw Italy’s economy bounce back to optimistic results following two weak quarters, Rappler reports.
The ISTAT statistics office reported on Tuesday that gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.2% in the 3 months to March, contrasting with the 0.1% decline seen in the last two quarters of 2018.
The growth was driven by optimistic industrial output figures for the months of January and February, after four months of slumping figures.
Meanwhile, as the national statistics bureau reported, GDP increased by 0.1% year-on-year thanks to all sectors, including agriculture, industry and services.
This data surpassed what was forecast by a Reuters survey of analysts, who projected a 0.1% quarterly rise and 0.1% year-on-year fall.
Italy – being Europe’s second largest manufacturer – was the only European Union member in recession prior to these strong figures, which pulled it out of its third recession in ten years.
Additionally, Italy’s unemployment levels also decreased in March, dropping to 10.2% from 10.5%. Youth unemployment decreased to 30.2%, its lowest reading since October 2011.
Around 60,000 jobs were created in March, and the overall employment rate increased to 58.9% from 58.6% in February – marking its highest level since April 2008.
“These numbers testify to the solidity and stability of the Italian economy,” Economy Minister Giovanni Tria said.