Italy slides into recession official statistics show


Italy has slid into recession, preliminary figures from the national statistical agency confirmed today.

ISTAT said the eurozone's third-largest economy contracted a quarterly rate of 0.7% in the last three months of 2011 - that was the second quarterly decline in a row, which is the official definition of a recession.

The Italian economy registered growth of 0.4% last year, compared with 1.4% a year earlier.

Italy is struggling to escape Europe's sovereign debt crisis with measures to cut spending and spur growth.