Italy’s gross domestic product (GDP) posted a moderate growth in 2016, slightly exceeding official expectations, preliminary data showed on Tuesday.
The output grew by 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 (seasonally and calendar adjusted) compared to the third quarter, and by 1.1 percent against the same quarter of 2015, the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) said.
In the whole 2016, GDP increased by 0.9 percent, according to ISTAT’s preliminary estimates. The Italian government had posted a prudent 0.8-percent growth in the last year.
In 2015, the Italian economy had grown by 0.7 percent.
The increase of GDP in the fourth quarter of 2016 was mainly due to domestic demand, while the impact of foreign demand was slightly negative, according to the statistics institute.
Despite exceeding expectations, the Italian economy was one of the slowest among Western and European Union (EU) countries in terms of growth.
Comparing the last three months of 2016 with the previous quarter, in fact, the GDP increased by 0.5 percent in the United States, by 0.6 percent in Britain, and by 0.4 percent in France, against Italy’s 0.3 percent, according to ISTAT.
On an annual basis, the three major economies posted an output increase of 1.9 percent, 2.2 percent, and 1.1 percent, respectively.
In its winter economic forecasts released on Feb. 13, the European Commission predicted Italy would have grown 0.9 percent last year, which was still higher than the government’s forecast, yet the lowest figure of all EU member states.
The next estimate on full year 2016 GDP growth and public finances will be released on March 1, while freshly updated quarterly data will follow on March 3, ISTAT said. Enditem