The Italian economy expanded more strongly than expected in the third quarter and thus narrowed the gap to the level before the pandemic.
Italy’s GDP rose 2.6 percent in the three months to September after a rebound of 2.7 percent in the previous quarter, official data showed.
The performance was stronger than the 2 percent growth forecast of the economists polled by Reuters.
The gap to production in the fourth quarter of 2019 before the pandemic narrowed to 1.3 percent. That’s a smaller gap than Spain, but behind France, which almost returned to pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter.
At the presentation of the state budget for 2022, the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Thursday that the economy âwill grow by more than 6 percent this year, probably well above thatâ. That would be the fastest pace since 1976 as the country recovers from its biggest economic downturn since World War II.
Detailed results will not be available until the second publication of GDP, but the Bureau of Statistics found that growth came from both services and manufacturing, with both domestic demand and net exports making positive contributions.
Rating agency S&P revised Italy’s outlook from stable to positive and said last week that “the drivers of Italy’s brisk growth include high vaccination rates, increased personal savings, improved business and household confidence, generous EU funding and resurgent tourism”.
Economists have warned Italy’s economic growth will slow in the final quarter as the reopening effects wear off, the disruption in the supply chain dampens demand, and rising energy prices threaten disposable household incomes, especially the poorest.