The Italian economy grew by 2.6% in Q3 compared to the prior quarter, mainly on robust consumer spending, according to the national statistics bureau ISTAT on Tuesday, confirming a preliminary estimate.

Third quarter GDP was upwardly revised slightly to 3.9% on a year-on-year basis, from the 3.8% in ISTAT's flash estimate at the end of last month.

Broad-based growth was seen during a breakdown of GDP elements. Consumer spending contributed 1.7 percentage points to the overall increase in Q3, whilst net exports contributed 0.5 points.

According to a report by Reuters news agency, Mario Draghi's government officially forecasts a 6.0% rebound in GDP in 2021, with a slowdown to 4.7% next year.

It’s expected that in 2022 GDP should at last recover from the record 8.9% contraction in 2020, when the economy was devastated by Covid lockdowns.

Recent data has been more robust than forecast, and the Prime Minister and other ministers have stated 2021 growth will likely exceed the official 6.0% goal set at the end of September.

That said, the outlook has been obscured by a rise in Covid numbers and the detection of the latest Omicron variant, which vaccines will be less effective against, according to scientists.

Last week, Italy’s central bank said it forecasts growth to continue in Q4, albeit it at a slower pace than the previous two quarters. In Q3, consumer spending was up 3.0% over the last quarter, whilst government spending rose 0.1% and investments edged up 1.6%.

In addition, imports grew 2.1% in the third quarter, whilst exports rose by 3.4%.

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