ROME, May 29 (Sputnik) -Italy's GDP dropped by an unprecedented 5.4 percent n the first quarter of 2020, compared to the same indicator a year ago, due to the devastating economic consequences of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Italian National Institute of Statistics, said in a press release on Friday.
According to the institute's Quarterly National Accounts report, the Italian economy has not seen such a contraction since the statistical measurement instruments used today were created in 1995.
"In the first quarter of 2020 the seasonally and calendar adjusted, chained volume measure of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decreased by 5.3 per cent to the previous quarter and by 5.4% in comparison to the first quarter of 2019," the report read.
At the same time, the institute's experts had to adjust their April’s preliminary GDP estimates downward. Last month, the contraction caused by the pandemic was predicted to be at 4.8 percent.
Simultaneously with the institute's release, Ignazio Visco, the governor of the Bank of Italy, said that the country was experiencing the worst health and economic crisis in recent history.
According to Visco, the GDP in 2020 may drop by 13 percent, and in the case of the baseline scenario, which implies a 9-percent decline, about half of this drop will be compensated in 2021. According to the European Commission's forecast, Italy's economy will decline by 9.5 percent by the end of the year.
Last week, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that the peak of the COVID-19 infection in Italy was over, although he urged citizens to continue taking health precautions and avoid traveling abroad. Italy first began easing its lockdown measures, enacted in March to slow the spread of the disease, on May 4.
Italy has so far confirmed over 231,000 COVID-19 cases, more than 150,000 recoveries and 33,142 fatalities.