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Italian recovery slow, growth stalling, say industrialists

Urgent need to address competitiveness, demand and bank credit

19 February, 19:01
Italian recovery slow, growth stalling, say industrialists (ANSA) - Rome, February 19 - Italy's economic recovery is extremely slow and recent data shows that industrial production in the eurozone's third-largest economy is close to stalling, according to a new report released on Wednesday by Italian employers' association Confindustria.

"(The recovery is) moving ahead very slowly, almost at a standstill", Confindustria's economists said. "These are the harsh facts of the Italian economy", with employment and industrial production data "confirming that the pick up from the extremely deep hole that has been dug by the recession is extremely slow".

Fourth-quarter gross domestic product data, which showed the economy expanded 0.1% in the last three months of 2013, was "lower that expected" and "confirms the extreme weakness of the recovery", according to the report drawn up by Confindustria's economic research unit which is headed by economist Luca Paolazzi.

Industrial production is weighed down by bank credit limitations, weak domestic demand and the accumulated loss of competitiveness, according to the monthly snapshot that Confindustria releases on the Italian economy. Urgent measures need to be taken to address these three issues "to avoid further damage to Italy's economic system", it said.