Rachel Cooper
March 11, 2013

Data from Italy’s national statistics institute ISTAT showed that the country’s economy shrank by 0.9pc in the fourth quarter of last year and gross domestic product was down a revised 2.8pc year-on-year.

The economy was hobbled by chronically weak domestic demand and a fall in inventories, while exports posted modest growth.

Italy has been mired in recession since the middle of 2011 and is not expected to show any growth until the second half of this year at the earliest.

The economy contracted by 2.4pc last year and on Friday Fitch cut Italy’s sovereign credit rating, citing a deep recession, rising debt and political instability following last month’s inconclusive election.

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