Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Science & Tech
  2. Coronavirus
30 April 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Italy joins France in recession as eurozone records largest economic slump on record

By Samuel Horti

Italy has joined France in recession after its worst economic contraction for decades.

Italian GDP shrank 4.7 per cent in the first three months of the year, according to data from the Italian National Institute of Statistics. It follows a 0.3 per cent contraction in the last quarter of 2019, putting the country into a recession, as defined by two consecutive quarters of negative growth. 

Meanwhile, data from the European Union’s statistics office shows that the economic output in the eurozone was 3.8 smaller in the first quarter of the year than in the three months prior. It marks the largest economic slump on record for the region. Year on year GDP decline was 3.3 per cent.

Energy prices in the eurozone were down 9.6 per cent year on year, Eurostat’s preliminary data showed. Meanwhile, unemployment reached 7.4 per cent in March, up from 7.3 per cent in April.

Economists forecast that the eurozone economy could contract by around 10 per cent in the second quarter of the year.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
The shrinking road to net zero
The tree-planting misconception
Is your business ready for corporate climate reporting?