Newly - released figures show that Italy ' s economy has shrunk in the second quarter of 2013, marking the eight consecutive quarter of contraction.
Italy’s National Institute for Statistics (ISTAT) said on Tuesday that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 0.2 percent following a 0.6 percent contraction in the first three months of the current year. Meanwhile, Italy has an unemployment rate of 12.1 percent, with nearly 40 percent of Italians between the age of 15 and 24 years being without a job. Italians have been staging protests against high unemployment, economic adversity, and hardship over a series of government-imposed austerity packages in the recent past. Tough austerity measures, spending cuts, and pension changes have stirred serious concerns for many people already grappling with the European country’s ailing economy. A recent human-rights report revealed that the number of economy-related suicides in Eurozone's third largest economy has increased in the first quarter of 2013 by 40 percent from a year ago. Italy started to experience recession after its economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the third quarter of 2011 and by 0.7 percent in the year’s fourth quarter. Over the past decade, Italy has been the slowest growing economy in the eurozone. The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, triggering incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries.