Italy: Detailed data confirm fifth consecutive GDP contraction
December 10, 2012
In the third quarter, GDP fell a seasonally and working-day adjusted 0.2% over the previous quarter, which confirmed the result of the preliminary estimate released by the National Statistics Office (ISTAT) on 15 November. The reading was up from the 0.7% drop recorded in the previous quarter, but nonetheless marked the fifth consecutive quarterly contraction in economic activity. On an annual basis, the economy shrank 2.4%, which was down from the 2.3% drop recorded in the previous quarter and marked, in fact, the largest drop recorded since Q4 2009.
The quarterly contraction was driven by a drop in domestic demand, while the contribution from the external sector to overall growth improved compared to the previous quarter. Private consumption contracted 1.0%, slightly improving from the 1.2% drop recorded in Q2. In addition, fixed investment dropped 1.4%, which was up from the 2.0% fall recorded in the previous three-month period.
Meanwhile, exports of goods and services rose 0.6% in Q3, which was below the 1.0% increase recorded in the previous quarter, while imports fell 1.4%, which exceeded Q2's 0.5% drop. As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall growth improved from plus 0.4 percentage points in Q2 to plus 0.6 percentage points in Q3.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions