Italy's recession stretches to seventh quarter

GDP drops 0.5% in first three months of 2013

Italy's recession stretches to seventh quarter

(updates previous) Rome, May 15 - Recession-hit Italy's gross domestic product (GDP) fell 0.5% in the first three months of 2013, Istat said Wednesday. The national statistics agency said it was the seventh consecutive quarter that Italy has posted negative growth, making this Italy's longest recession since Istat started using its current GDP calculations system in the first quarter of 1990. Consumer associations Federconsumatori and Adusbef said in a joint statement that they were "extremely worried" about the data, saying they forecast Italy's GDP would drop 2% this year. "The only road to take to reverse the trend is to work to revive domestic demand," said the associations, calling on Premier Enrico Letta's government to avert a 1% rise in the top band of value added tax scheduled to come into force in July.

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