Italy's economy shrank by 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 from the previous one, official data showed Monday, confirming a previous estimate that showed the recession in the eurozone's third largest economy deepening.
Compared with the fourth quarter of 2011, gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 2.8 percent, the Istat data agency said. Its earlier estimate had put the year-on-year contraction at 2.7 percent.
Italy's economy shrank by 0.9 percent in the first quarter, 0.7 percent in the second quarter, and 0.2 percent in the third quarter, Istat said.
The fourth quarter decline was the sixth consecutive month of contraction, making this Italy's longest recession in two decades.
Experts say a recovery might not begin until the second quarter of 2013, although some warn that this may be delayed by political instability after an election that left no clear winner.
Fitch on Friday downgraded Italy's credit rating due to the political situation and the recession.
Fitch is forecasting a 1.8 percent contraction overall in 2013.