RTTNews - Wednesday, Italian statistical office Istat said the economy contracted 2.6% sequentially in the first quarter, revised down from an initially reported 2.4% fall.

Gross domestic product or GDP fell for the fourth straight quarter with the rate of decline accelerating to 2.6% in the first three months of this year. It was just 0.6% when the falling trend started in the second quarter of 2008.

Exports fell 11.8% and imports decreased 9.2%. Final consumption expenditure was down 0.8% of which, households expenditure fell 1.1% and government spending was flat. Gross fixed capital formation dropped 5%.

On an annual basis, GDP dropped 6%, a touch higher than the initial estimate of 5.9% decline.

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