Economic growth 'means Italy officially out of recession'

The news comes as a boost to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi

ROME – The Italian economy has grown by 0.3 percent in the last quarter and as a result the country is officially out of recession, according to the National Institute for Statistics (ISTAT). There was also encouraging news for the wider Eurozone economy, which grew 0.4 percent, however Greece once again slipped back into recession.

 Data from the first quarter of 2015 was analysed to create the statistics, which provided a pleasant surprise for Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Tuesday. Italy had anticipated growth of 0.2 percent; however in reality this was accelerated to 0.3 percent, which means the economy, has expanded as quickly as European heavyweights Germany and the United Kingdom so far this term.

 The figure of 0.3 percent also marks the biggest single quarter growth figure since 2011. According to ISTAT the improved situation can be attributed to growth in the agricultural and industrial sectors and a nationwide stabilisation in the tertiary, services sector.

 Elsewhere in the Eurozone, there was excellent news for France, which experienced a growth of 0.6 percent across the last quarter, which boosted the country’s CAC stock exchange on Tuesday morning. Portugal also announced positive growth (up 0.4 percent) and Spain had already released statistics showing a growth percentage of 0.9 last month.

 However there remains an elephant in the Eurozone’s front room, as Greece has again experienced a recession in the last quarter, after posting growth rates of 0.8 percent in 2014. The country is currently in a standoff with European creditors and the IMF, over the terms of its 240 million euro bailout and this has negatively impacted on growth.