ITALY WARNS OF ECONOMY’S SHORTFALL


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A manufacturing slowdown is one of several factors that has led Italy to tell its European Union partners that the country is unlikely to meet its economic performance projections because of the coronavirus outbreak.
 
It also has warned the union that members should be ready to offer aid if Italy’s economy is severely damaged by the illness.
Virus cases are concentrated in the Lombardy and Veneto regions, which account for a third of Italy’s economic output and half its exports.
Italy’s GDP could lose 0.2 percent to the virus this quarter, the Bank Italy estimates. That would follow a contraction of 0.3 percent in 2019’s last three months, the largest drop in six years.
Even before the virus arrived, many analysts were predicting Italy would tip into a recession this year.
Italy has become a European center of the infection, reporting more than 650 cases and more than 27 deaths as of 28 February.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte expressed confidence that Italy will contain the disease “in the coming days.”

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