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Financial News: Italy Enters Recession In Q1 Amid Covid-19 Pandemic

Italy Enters Recession In Q1 Amid Covid-19 Pandemic

04/30/2020 - 09:39:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Italy entered a recession in the first quarter after the national output contracted the most since the series began in 1995 due the coronavirus lockdown, preliminary data from the statistical office Istat showed Thursday.

Despite the lockdown, the unemployment rate declined unexpectedly in March, data revealed. Gross domestic product fell 4.7 percent sequentially in the first quarter, following a 0.3 percent drop in the fourth quarter of 2019. However, economists had forecast a larger 5 percent contraction.

This was the biggest fall on record. The economy fell into a recession as GDP contracted for two consecutive quarters.

On a yearly basis, GDP dropped 4.8 percent, in contrast to a 0.1 percent rise in the previous quarter. GDP was expected to fall 5.1 percent.

Italy is one among the most affected economies from covid-19 pandemic. The statistical office said lockdown has hampered the data collection.

Another report from Istat showed that the unemployment rate declined unexpectedly in March. The jobless rate fell to 8.4 percent from revised 9.3 percent in February, while it was forecast to rise to 10.5 percent.

The unemployment rate among youth aged between 15 and 24, fell to 28 percent from 29.2 percent.

The number of unemployed persons decreased by 267,000 from the previous month.

Preliminary data showed that consumer prices remained flat on a yearly basis in April after rising 0.1 percent in March. The slowdown was largely caused by energy prices.

Economists had forecast consumer prices to fall 0.2 percent on a yearly basis.

Month-on-month, consumer prices gained 0.1 percent, confounding expectations for a fall of 0.3 percent.

EU harmonized inflation remained unchanged at 0.1 percent in April. On a monthly basis, the harmonized index of consumer prices advanced 0.5 percent.

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