Italy: GDP records slowdown in the fourth quarter
GDP growth lost momentum on a seasonally- and calendar-adjusted basis, falling to a sequential 0.6% in the final quarter of the year, from 2.5% in the third quarter. Q4’s reading marked the worst outcome since Q1 2021.
Private consumption stagnated in Q4 (Q3: +2.9% qoq), also marking the worst result since Q1 2021. That said, public spending gained momentum, expanding 0.7% quarter-on-quarter in Q4, following Q3’s flat reading. Moreover, fixed investment reached 2.8% sequential growth in Q4, from the 1.8% increase recorded in the prior quarter, mainly due to buoyant construction and a buildup in intellectual property.
On the external front, exports of goods and services fell 0.1% in Q4 (Q3: +4.1% qoq), marking the worst result since Q2 2020. Conversely, imports of goods and services growth sped up to 4.2% in Q4 (Q3: +2.3% qoq), marking the best reading since Q4 2020.
On an annual basis, economic growth accelerated to 6.2% in Q4, following the previous quarter’s 3.9% expansion.
On the outlook for 2022, Loredana Maria Federico, chief Italy economist at UniCredit, commented:
“The Ukraine-Russia crisis is expected to affect activity across sectors, with firms having now to manage increased production costs and a deterioration in demand. However, we currently do not expect the economic recovery to be derailed.”