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Italy’s GDP dropped 12.4% unprecedented in the second quarter, but better than analysts had feared | Instant News


ROME, (Reuters) – Italy’s economy shrank 12.4% in the second quarter from the previous three months, preliminary data showed on Friday, due to dipping activity during the coronavirus pandemic, but the decline was less severe than many analysts had predicted.

FILE PHOTOS: People wearing protective masks are seen at a supermarket in Posillipo, near Naples, Italy, March 10, 2020. REUTERS / Ciro De Luca

The quarterly slump in gross domestic product (GDP) in the eurozone’s third-largest economy was “unprecedented”, the ISTAT national statistics bureau said.

On a year-on-year basis, second quarter GDP dropped 17.3%, ISTAT said.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters forecast a 15.0% quarter-on-quarter contraction and an 18.7% year-on-year decline.

All segments of the economy suffer, said ISTAT, without giving details.

ISTAT also revised its reading down for the first three months of 2020 to provide a quarterly decline of 5.4% and a 5.5% decline compared to the same period last year. These were previously given respectively 5.3% and 5.4%.

Italy has been one of the hardest hit countries in Europe by Covid-19, recording more than 35,000 deaths since its transmission was revealed at the end of February. Seeking to stop the spread, the government introduced rigid restrictions on trade and travel on March 9, forcing most businesses to close.

The locking has gradually subsided since May 4 and most of the economy is still sick.

Italy’s official estimate is for a full-year GDP contraction of 8% this year, although Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri said this might need to be revised lower. The Italian bank expects 9.5% negative growth and the European Commission expects the economy to contract 11.2% – the sharpest decline in the 27-nation bloc.

Spain reported earlier on Friday that its GDP contracted 18.5% in the second quarter from the previous three-month period, while in France GDP fell 13.8% and in Germany it fell 10.1%.

The Italian government has announced measures worth 75 billion euros ($ 89.18 billion) to help companies and families overcome the crisis and said it would present an additional 25 billion euro stimulus package in early August.

Reporting by Crispian Balmer

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Italy’s GDP dropped 12.4% unprecedented in Q2, but better than analysts had feared | Instant News


ROME, July 31 (Reuters) – Italy’s economy shrank 12.4% in the second quarter from the previous three months, preliminary data showed on Friday, due to dipping activity during the coronavirus pandemic, but the decline was less severe than many analysts had predicted.

The quarterly slump in gross domestic product (GDP) in the eurozone’s third-largest economy was “unprecedented”, the ISTAT national statistics bureau said.

On a year-on-year basis, second quarter GDP dropped 17.3%, ISTAT said.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters forecast a 15.0% quarter-on-quarter contraction and an 18.7% year-on-year decline.

All segments of the economy suffer, said ISTAT, without giving details.

ISTAT also revised its reading down for the first three months of 2020 to provide a quarterly decline of 5.4% and a 5.5% decline compared to the same period last year. These were previously given respectively 5.3% and 5.4%.

Italy has been one of the hardest hit countries in Europe by Covid-19, recording more than 35,000 deaths since its transmission was revealed at the end of February. Seeking to stop the spread, the government introduced rigid restrictions on trade and travel on March 9, forcing most businesses to close.

The locking has gradually subsided since May 4 and most of the economy is still sick.

Italy’s official estimate is for a full-year GDP contraction of 8% this year, although Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri said this might need to be revised lower. The Italian bank expects 9.5% negative growth and the European Commission expects the economy to contract 11.2% – the sharpest decline in the 27-nation bloc.

Spain reported earlier on Friday that its GDP contracted 18.5% in the second quarter from the previous three-month period, while in France GDP fell 13.8% and in Germany it fell 10.1%.

The Italian government has announced measures worth 75 billion euros ($ 89.18 billion) to help companies and families overcome the crisis and said it would present an additional 25 billion euro stimulus package in early August.

ISTAT provides the following details:

Q2 2020 Q1 2020 Q4 2019 T / Q (percent change) -12.4 -5.4r -0.2 Y / Y (percent change) -17.3 -5.5r 0.1

r = revised

Keywords: ITALY ECONOMY / GDP

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China warns Britain: You have no future if you try to put China aside | Instant News


LONDON (Reuters) – The Chinese ambassador to London frankly warned Britain on Thursday that they have no future if they try to separate themselves from the communist state.

“It’s hard to imagine a ‘Global Britain’ that bypasses or excludes China, separating from China means separating from opportunities, separating from growth and separating from the future,” Chinese ambassador to London Liu Xiaoming told reporters.

He said Britain would “pay the price” if it wanted to treat China as a hostile country.

Reported by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton

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Britain says the first round of New Zealand trade talks is “positive and productive” | Instant News


PHOTO FILE: State Secretary for International Trade and British Minister for Women and Equality Liz Truss seen outside Downing Street, as the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) continues, in London, England March 17, 2020. REUTERS / Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) – The first round of UK trade negotiations with New Zealand is positive and productive, trade minister Liz Truss said on Wednesday.

“We are one step closer to reaching a comprehensive trade agreement with like-minded friends and allies,” Truss said in a statement.

“The first round talks are positive and productive, with the common goal of being very ambitious in fields including digital commerce and sustainability.”

The next round of talks is planned for October.

Reporting by William James; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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Italy will help tourism, the automotive sector in the next stimulus-administration push | Instant News


ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s latest stimulus package, which aims to help the economy cope with the coronavirus pandemic, will include assistance to the tourism and automotive sectors, Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Italian Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri attends the Italo-Franco summit one day in Naples, Italy 27 February 2020. REUTERS / Ciro De Luca

The government said it would propose such measures, totaling 25 billion euros ($ 29.32 billion), in an emergency decree in early August.

A source told Reuters this month that a little less than 1 billion euros would be allocated to strengthen current incentives to drive sales of sophisticated combustion engine cars and electric and hybrid vehicles.

Speaking to the parliamentary committee, Gualtieri did not give details.

The automotive industry accounts for 6.2% of Italy’s gross domestic product, data provided by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) (FCHA.MI) shows. Tourism contributes around 13% to GDP, according to the World Trade and Tourism Council.

Gualtieri told lawmakers that part of the additional expenditure would be used to expand funding for the temporary layoff scheme “for a further 18 weeks on a selective basis”. The hardest hit companies in the first half of 2020 will be entitled to ask for further assistance, he added.

The latest stimulus will push the 2020 budget deficit to 11.9% of national output, compared to the 10.4% target set in April, while the country’s public debt will rise to 157.6% of GDP this year.

New steps coming on top of around 75 billion euros Rome has been mobilized to help businesses and families.

Overall, Rome plans to promise up to 212 billion euros in economic assistance to families and companies, including state guarantees for bank loans, although only a part of this amount is expected to be spent.

Italy’s economy has been damaged by the coronavirus pandemic, with the European Commission forecasting a 11.2% contraction this year – the sharpest decline in the 27-nation bloc.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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