Italy lost 12,000 firms in three months

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It will take Italy 11 years for the businesses in Italy to return to pre-recession levels, according to the Confcommercio report. Shop photo: Shutterstock
11:06 CEST+02:00
The number of businesses in Italy fell by 12,000 in the first three months of 2014, according to a report released on Thursday by the business confederation, Confcommercio.

Clothing outlets have been particularly affected by the economic downturn, according to the report quoted in La Stampa.

As a result it will take 11 years for businesses in Italy to return to pre-recession levels, Confcommercio said.

But despite the closures, figures released on Thursday by the EU portrayed a more positive story.

Retail trade in Italy grew 0.3 percent in January and 0.2 percent in February, although stagnated in March, the EU’s statistics agency Eurostat said.

Taking a broader look at the Italian economy, Confcommercio predicted an increase in consumption of 0.1 percent and gross domestic product (GDP) to rise by 0.5 percent this year.

A more optimistic outlook on 2015 set GDP growth at 0.9 percent and consumption to increase by 0.7 percent, La Stampa said.

Italy’s GDP shrank by 0.1 percent in the first quarter of this year, a worrying sign for the government as it tries to get the economy moving and attract foreign investors.

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Speaking earlier this week, Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said the Italian economy “has to be reinvigorated with all-out structural reforms”. The government’s privatization plan would add 0.7 percentage points to GDP growth annually, Padoan said in Rome on Tuesday.

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