I am sure some people must sometimes feel I am exaggerating when I try to explain the rather dire straits which I feel the Italian economy has fallen into. If you are one of those people I would ask you to take a good look at the latest data release:
Official statistics published on Wednesday showed Italy experienced zero growth in 2005 underlining the dire state of the country’s economy and dealing a blow to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s election campaign.....Istat, the official statistics institute, said that the weak data contrasted with the US’s 3.5 per cent, the UK’s 1.8 per cent, the 0.9 per cent of Germany and Spain’s 3.4 per cent.
And it's not as if 2005 was a bad year for the global economy generally, the world economy steamed ahead at a rate of around 4.25% last year, driven by systematic development in India and China and strong growth in the US. Italy has now had an annual growth rate of around 1% per annum over the last decade, and I see no good reason to justify the expectation that this is going to perk upwards sharply anytime soon.
Italy Economy Real Time Data Charts
Edward Hugh is only able to update this blog from time to time, but he does run a lively Twitter account with plenty of Italy related comment. He also maintains a collection of constantly updated Italy economy charts together with short text updates on a Storify dedicated page Italy - Lost in Stagnation?