Solid and steady from Italy. The eurozone’s third largest economy notched up its best annual growth rate since the depths of the continent’s debt crisis at the end of the second quarter. Year on year gross domestic product grew by 1.5 per cent according to official figures, despite quarterly growth holding steady at 0.4 per cent in the three months to June. Both readings were in line with forecasts.
Italy’s economy has struggled to build momentum over the last two decades, held back by a struggling banking system and ageing population. The quarterly figures mean Italy was still below the eurozone average of 0.6 per cent in the quarter. Still, the country has been bouyed by an expanding world economy and a eurozone recovery which has confounded many observers this year. Itstat said growth was supported by rising industrial production and growth in services, while agriculture contracted in the quarter. (ft)