March 6, 2020 / 3:38 PM / 23 days ago

Moody's sees Italy in a recession due to coronavirus

MILAN, March 6 (Reuters) - Credit rating agency Moody’s said on Friday Italy’s economy is likely to fall into a recessin due to an expected contration in the first quarter, as the country battles with the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe.

Italy’s economic output fell by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2019. A recession is normally defined as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.

Moody’s said it was cutting its growth forecast for Italy’s gross domestic product to -0.5% in 2020, from a previous +0.5% estimate. It revised up its forecast for 2021 to 1.2% from 0.7%.

“The coronavirus outbreak is concentrated in Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna, provinces that contribute more than 40% of Italy’s GDP,” the agency said in a statement.

“Extensive closures and restrictions on movement in these regions will have a significant impact on economic growth.” (Reporting by Sabina Suzzi, editing by Valentina Za)

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