Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Italy's real GDP falls below 2001 level

English
© ANSA

Rome, March 1 - The recession is biting so hard in
Italy that the nation's real gross domestic product (GDP)
dropped below its 2001 level last year, Istat said Friday.
The national statistics agency added that the nation's
debt-to-GDP ratio rose to 127% in 2012 and the tax burden rose
to a record 44%.
The country's massive national debt of around two trillion
euros is the main reason it was exposed to the eurozone debt
crisis.
Italy's already high tax burden increased with hikes
introduced by outgoing Premier Mario Monti's emergency
government.
These tax increase were part of efforts to restore order to
the Italy's public finances after Silvio Berlusconi quit as
premier in November 2011 when the country's financial crisis
threatened to spiral out of control.
Monti's austerity measures also had the effect of
deepening the recession Italy slipped into in the second half of
2011.
This is reflected by Istat saying Friday that Italy's GDP
fell by 2.4% in 2012 and household spending dropped 4.3%, taking
real GDP - which is adjusted for price changes - to below the
levels of over a decade ago.
The recession has also driven up Italian unemployment to
record levels.
In January, overall unemployment rose to 11.7% and youth
unemployment reached 38.7%, the highest monthly rates for both
since the statistics agency started issuing monthly figures in
January 2004 and since the start of quarterly data in the fourth
quarter of 1992.
For the year 2012, Italy's national unemployment rate was
10.7%, up from 8.4% in 2011, and 2012 unemployment in southern
Italy was 17.2%.
The nationwide rate in 2012 is the highest since records
began in 1993.
The difficult economic climate has also slowed price
increases.
Italian inflation fell to 1.9% in February from 2.2% in
January, Istat said.
It was the lowest rate since December 2010, the statistics
agency said.
Inflation has now fallen five straight times, Istat said on
the basis of its preliminary estimates.
Prices in the so-called inflation 'trolley' of most
frequently bought goods rose 2.4% annually in February, down
from 2.7% in January.
Istat said that the 2012 deficit-to-GDP ratio was 3% and
that Italy posted a primary surplus of 2.5% last year, up from
1.2% in 2011.

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