Italy braces for RECESSION: Rome economy shrinks for THIRD month in row

Wednesday, January 2, 2019
By Paul Martin

ITALY has raised fears of being on the brink of another recession after the nation’s manufacturing sector shrank for a third month in a row.

Wed, Jan 2, 2019

Gloomy figures released today show factory activity in Italy was recorded below the line of growth at 49.2 for December. While this is up from the 48.9 forecast by economists, it is still under the 50 needed to record an upward trend. Andrew Harker, associate director at IHS Markit, said: “There appears little sense of optimism that the current soft patch will come to an end in the near future.” Italy’s economy contracted in the third quarter for the first time in four years back in November with gross domestic product (GDP) falling 0.1 percent in July to September.

If another slowdown is recorded for the final three months of 2018, Italy will officially be in its third recession since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago.

A recession is defined by economists as GDP falling for two consecutive quarters.

Speaking at the time of the data release, Andrea Montanino, Confindustria’s chief economist of employers, said: “It’s a worrying figure that could lead us to technical recession in the last quarter of the year.

“We are forecasting a flat fourth quarter with downside risks due to falling confidence indices.”

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