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Italy's GDP shrank 8.9 percent in 2020: stats agency

02 February 2021, MVT 20:26
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at a press conference held in 2020, to present new measures to tackle the spread of the Covid-19 disease caused by the coronavirus. PHOTO: AFP / ANSA
02 February 2021, MVT 20:26

Italy's virus-stricken economy shrank by 8.9 percent last year, national statistics office Istat said Tuesday.

The calendar-adjusted figure represents the biggest contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) since the end of World War II.

It is a first estimate, subject to revision, which is slightly more optimistic than what had been forecast by the Bank of Italy and the International Monetary Fund.

Both had predicted a 9.2-per-cent annual fall in GDP.

The Italian government, for its part, had forecast a 9.0-percent drop.

But it is still one of the worst in Europe, compared with a fall of 5.0 percent in Germany and 8.3 percent in France.

Spain's economy did worse, with a drop of 11 percent

Istat said GDP shrank by 2.0 percent in the fourth quarter, compared to the previous three months.

The economy was hit by a new round of restrictions introduced to combat the second wave of coronavirus later in the year, the agency noted.

Italy, the eurozone's third largest economy, has been one of the countries worst hit by the pandemic, with nearly 90,000 dead from Covid-19.

In March 2020, it was also the first country in Europe to go into a national lockdown, with devastating economic consequences.

On Monday, Istat said more than 420,000 jobs were lost between February and December, including 101,000 just in the month of December.

The slump also aggravated an existing gender gap in the labour market. In December, 99,000 women lost their employment, versus only 2,000 men.

Rome, Italy | AFP

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