The Italian economy is set for a “strong contraction” this year and will only partially recover lost ground in 2021, national statistics agency Istat, said on Monday.
Istat predicted a fall in gross domestic product (GDP) of 8.3 per cent in 2020, followed by a 4.6 per cent recovery the following year.
The agency also saw employment falling by 9.3 per cent this year and increasing by 4.1 per cent in 2021.
On Friday, the Bank of Italy issued a different set of forecasts in which GDP was projected to fall by 9.2 per cent in 2020 and bounce back by 4.8 per cent in 2021, under a baseline scenario.
In a “severe scenario”, Italy’s economy would shrink by 13.1 per cent in 2020 and grow by only 3.5 per cent in 2021, the central bank warned.
Italy was the first country in Europe to go into lockdown as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The restrictions, which hobbled its economy, were applied in March and gradually lifted between May and June.
On Sunday, the Italian Civil Protection Agency reported nearly 235,000 infections, up by 197 from Saturday, and 33,899 deaths, a daily increase of 53.