Italy suffers from slow growth, says leading business lobby

08:51, December 17, 2010      

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Italy suffers from the long-lasting "disease" of slow economic growth and its gross domestic product (GDP) this year was expected to fall below expectations, a leading business lobby said Thursday.

"Italy' s performance in the economic recovery is disappointing, the country lags far behind the rest of Europe and has never recovered from the sickness of a weak growth," the Confindustria lobby said in a report.

Confindustria predicts the economy will grow this year by one percent, down from earlier forecasts of 1.2 percent; while in 2011 the GDP will rise by 1.1 percent instead of previous forecasts of +1.3 percent.

The report highlighted that since the outbreak of the global downturn in 2008 the number of employed workers had dropped by 540,000 and will continue to fallo in 2011 by 0.4 percent.

The total unemployment rate was set to reach 9 percent next year, the industrial association said.

The head of Confindustria, Emma Marcegaglia, stressed that Italy was the "sick man of Europe" because its economic performance was quite disappointing compared to that of other European countries.

Confindustria, Italy's largest and most powerful industrial association, groups a total of more than 140,000 firms. Most are small and medium enterprises that comprise more than 90 percent of Italy's core industrial system.

Source: Xinhua
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