Italy’s GDP rose 2.6 per cent in the three months to September following a 2.7 per cent rebound in the previous quarter, official data showed.
The performance was stronger than the 2 per cent growth forecast by economists polled by Reuters.
The gap with the output produced in the fourth quarter 2019, before the pandemic, narrowed to 1.3 per cent. That is a smaller gap than in Spain but behind France, which nearly returned to its pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter.
Presenting the government’s 2022 budget, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Thursday that the economy “will grow this year by more than 6 per cent, probably well above.” This would be the fastest pace since 1976 as the country rebounds from its largest economic downturn since the second world war.
Detailed results will only be available with the second release of the GDP, but the statistics office noted that growth came from both services and manufacturing, with positive contributions from both domestic demand and net exports.
Revising Italy’s outlook from stable to positive, rating agency S&P said last week that “drivers of Italy’s buoyant growth include high vaccination rates, elevated private savings, improving business and household confidence, generous EU funds, and rebounding tourism.”
Economists have warned that Italy’s economic growth will slow in the final quarter as the effects of the reopening wane, supply chain disruption keeps a lid on demand, and rising energy prices threaten household disposable incomes, particularly of the poorest people.
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