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Italy's long recession 'over' says economy minister

Saccomanni predicts return to positive growth in 4th quarter

10 December, 13:48
Italy's long recession 'over' says economy minister (see related stories) (ANSA) - Rome, December 10 - Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni declared Italy's longest recession since World War II to be over on Tuesday after Istat said a two-year run of negative growth ended in the third quarter of 2013.

The national statistics agency revised upwards its initial estimate of a 0.1% drop in gross domestic product for the July-September period, saying GDP was actually flat with respect to the second quarter of 2013.

"Istat has certified the end of the recession," Saccomanni said via his Twitter account, @FabSaccomanni.

"Imports, exports and industrial production are recovering.

There is still a long way to go, but it's the right direction".

Istat said Tuesday that it was not its job to say whether the flat growth in the third quarter spelt the end of the recession. "In the fourth quarter GDP will be positive," Saccomanni said. "With companies going again, it will finally be possible to have improvements on the jobs front". Unemployment in Italy has reached a record high of 12.5% of the working population, with over four in 10 under 25s out of work.