Tuesday 21 May 2019

Europe: Italy revises GDP and is out of recession

Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Italy has revised its gross domestic product for the first quarter of 2014 upwards to show a flat quarterly reading, official data showed yesterday.

The change indicates that the Eurozone's third-largest economy is not technically in recession.

National statistics agency Istat had previously reported a fall in output of 0.1pc for the first quarter from the previous period, and a 0.2pc decline in the second quarter.

The figure for the second quarter was left unrevised, but a country is not in recession unless it posts two consecutive quarters of contraction.

The revision was due to methodological changes being conducted across the European Union which are expected to raise this year's GDP, and give Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's government more leeway to keep the deficit below the EU's 3pc limit.

The new system, known as SEC 2010, changes the way that spending on research and armaments is classified in GDP calculations and also includes revenue from illegal activities related to drug trafficking and prostitution.

In Italy, the revisions also increase the size of the public sector by including numerous bodies which were previously excluded, and strip out the impact of debt swap operations carried out by the Treasury.

A revision to 2013 GDP carried out in September to comply with the new system raised output, lowering the Italian budget deficit and public debt-to-GDP ratios as a result.

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