Italy GDP contracts 0.1 percent in Q1 on slowing fixed investments

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Rome, Italy (4E) – Italy’s economy in the first quarter was dragged down by fixed investments, suggesting that growth is likely to be weak, according to national statistics institute Istat said Tuesday.

The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell 0.1 percent in the first three months of 2014 from the previous quarter, according to Istat, in line with an earlier estimate and confirming analysts’ forecasts.

The GDP fell 0.5 percent from the first quarter of 2013, according to Istat. This figure matched an earlier estimate and matched analysts’ forecasts.

Fixed investments fell at a 1.1 percent pace from the previous quarter, Istat said, evidence that Italian firms continue to hold back from spending.

Final domestic consumption jumped 0.1 percent, according to Istat, the first gain since the final quarter of 2010, an indication that households might be spending again, although Istat said that the rise was very modest.

In the last quarter of 2013, the economy expanded for the first time following two years of contraction.

The Italian agricultural sector grew 2.2 percent from the fourth quarter, while the manufacturing sector fell by 0.4 percent, according to Istat. The services sector stayed flat while the construction sector declined by 1.7 percent.

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