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Italian economy exits recession in Q1

The Italian economy expanded in the first quarter, exiting the recession it witnessed toward the end of 2018.

GDP expanded 0.1%, compared with the last quarter on a seasonally and calendar adjusted basis, data from the country's National Institute of Statistics showed. However, the growth rate for the quarter missed the Econoday consensus estimate and the preliminary estimate, both at 0.2%.

Final consumption expenditure edged up 0.2% and gross fixed capital formation rose 0.6% quarter over quarter. Exports increased 0.2% while imports fell 1.5%.

Compared with the year-ago period, Italian GDP contracted 0.1%.

The Italian government announced a "growth decree" in April aimed at returning to economic expansion. The package included measures to regain private investment and shield the "Made in Italy" brand.