How the coronavirus outbreak is affecting Italy’s economy

The Italian economy was already sluggish before drastic isolation measures took effect, and it must now contend with plunging stock prices in Milan, cancelled trade shows and threats to tourism.

The epidemic and measures to contain it “are having a very big impact on the service sector,” says Luca Paolozzi of the REF research institute. “Since the service sector was allowing the Italian economy to keep its head above water, it is quite probable that we will see GDP shrink in the first quarter of 2020, but also the second,” he says.

Hobbled by a slowdown in the global economy and internal political instability, in 2019 Italy registered the EU’s lowest growth rate at a mere 0.2 percent. The government had been forecasting growth of 0.6 percent in 2020, but that could now be in danger.

Source: The Local (