The Italian economy contracted in the fourth quarter of 2018, dragged down by slowing European growth and global trade tensions, plunging the country into a technical recession, official data showed Thursday.
The Italian economy suffered a harsh recession in 2012-13 and has enjoyed only slow growth since then. Overall growth for full-year 2018 was just 0.8 percent. Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte had anticipated the bad news on Wednesday during a business conference in Milan. “Analysts tell us we’ll likely still suffer a bit at the start of this year,” he said, pointing the finger at a slowdown in China and Germany which are hurting Italian exports.