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 countryâ€™s economy and dealing a blow to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconiâ€™s election campaign…..Istat, the official statistics institute, said that the weak data contrasted with the USâ€™s 3.5 per cent, the UKâ€™s 1.8 per cent, the 0.9 per cent of Germany and Spainâ€™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.