(ANSA) - Rome, September 13 - Economy Minister Fabrizio
Saccomanni said Friday that he still expected Italy to pull out
of its longest recession in over two decades by the end of this
Data released Thursday showed industrial production in
Italy endured a surprise drop of 1.1% in July compared to June,
denting hopes the downturn was coming to a close.
But Saccomanni said he remained optimistic Italy was on the
path towards recovery.
"I don't know of anything to change my forecast (that the
recession will end in the third or fourth quarter of 2013),"
The drop in industrial-production data was a disappointment
to analysts as it came after two consecutive month-on-month
rises in production that had been seen as evidence Italy was
pulling out of the downturn.
Furthermore, the drop was the biggest month-on-month fall
since June 2012.
Industrial production was 4.3% lower in July than in the
same month in 2012, the 23rd consecutive year-on-year drop,
national statistics institute Istat said.