Rome, February 14 - Italian consumer association Codacons has defined government growth estimates for 2013 as 'a mirage' in light of the latest figures from the national statistics institute. On Thursday Istat said recession-hit Italy's gross domestic product (GDP) fell 2.2% in 2012 with respect to the previous year according to seasonally adjusted data. If GDP posts no growth in each quarter of 2013 it will drop a further 1% compared with this year, it added. The figures "show that government growth estimates for the end of 2013 are somewhat miscalculated, not to say miraculous. In short: a mirage," Codacons said in a statement. "It is no accident that the European Central Bank has just revised downwards its growth estimates for the entire eurozone, predicting that GDP will remain unchanged in 2013, namely that there will be no growth until 2014". No sector of the Italian economy has been spared the crisis, the consumer association said. Codacons also called for the new government that will emerge from elections on February 24 and 25 to reconcile measures for book-balancing and growth.
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di Giovanni Pastore