Italy: Economy posts flat growth in Q4; GDP contracts in full year 2014
March 9, 2015
In Q4 2014, GDP recorded flat growth over the previous quarter in seasonally- and working-day adjusted terms, according to more detailed data released by the National Statistics Office (ISTAT) on 5 March. The reading matched the preliminary estimate and came in slightly above the 0.1% decrease observed in the third quarter. Q4’s result reflected an improvement both in domestic demand and in exports.
Growth in private consumption inched down from 0.2% in Q3 to 0.1% in Q4, while government consumption ticked up from a 0.2% increase to a 0.4% rise. In addition, fixed investment swung from a 1.0% contraction in Q3 to a mild 0.2% expansion in Q4.
On the external side of the economy, growth in exports accelerated from 0.4% in Q3 to 1.6% in Q4, while imports slowed from a 0.7% rise to a 0.3% increase. As a result, the external sector’s net contribution to overall growth improved from minus 0.1 percentage points in Q3 to plus 0.4 percentage points in Q4.
In annual terms, the economy contracted 0.5% in Q4, which matched Q3’s result but was slightly below the preliminary estimate of a 0.3% decrease. In the full year 2014, the economy contracted 0.4%, which represented an improvement compared to the 1.7% contraction registered in 2013.
Author: Cecilia Simkievich, Economist