Italy’s gross domestic product grew by 0.3% in the final quarter of 2017, less than the 0.4% gain recorded in Q3, but the country’s annual performance was the best since 2010 according to preliminary data.
The figures, released by the National Institute for Statistics (Istat), shows Italy’s economy grew 1.4% last year, up from 0.9% in 2016. After adjustments for the fact that there were two fewer working days than the previous year, 2017 growth came in at 1.5%.
Although last year’s performance was Italy’s best since 2010, the country’s economy was still among the more sluggish in the eurozone. The Q4 figure fell short of estimates, which projected that growth would match Q3 at 0.4%.
Istat said that industry and services both contributed to growth in Q4, but the agriculture sector had contracted.
Istat will issue official, full-year 2017 growth data calculated according to EU criteria, on March 1, along with last year’s public finance datadata.
Three days later Italy votes in a parliamentary election in which the ruling Democratic Party headed by Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni is expected to lose power.
The European Commission forecast last week that Italy would grow 1.5% in 2018, putting it in last place in the eurozone and above only the UK among the 28 EU member countries.