Location: Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia, includes Sardinia and Sicily

total: 301,340 sq km

land: 294,140 sq km

water: 7,200 sq km

Natural resources: coal, antimony, mercury, zinc, potash, marble, barite, asbestos, pumice, fluorspar, feldspar, pyrite (sulfur), natural gas and crude oil reserves, fish, arable land

Land use:
agricultural land: 47.1%
arable land: 22.8%
forest: 31.4%
other: 21.5%

In 2019 the gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by 0.3% in real terms, with a marked slowdown compared to the previous year. In the current year, domestic demand net of inventories would provide the only positive contribution to GDP growth (0.3 percentage points), while the contribution of net foreign demand and the change in inventories would be null. In 2019, the expenditure of households and ISPs in real terms is estimated to grow by 0.5%, slightly down compared to the previous year. In the current year, the process of replenishment of the capital stock would slow down significantly. The reduction would involve both investments in machinery and equipment and those in construction. Overall, gross fixed investments are forecast to grow by 0.3%. The deceleration of production rates would also affect the labor market. In 2019, employment is expected to remain at the levels of the previous year (+ 0.1%) while there would be a slight increase in the unemployment rate (10.8%). Gross salaries per employee unit are expected to evolve in line with the deflator of household spending (+ 0.9%). The current forecast scenario is characterized by some downside risks represented by a further moderation of international trade and a possible worsening of credit conditions linked to the increase in uncertainty and the negative evolution of international political and economic scenarios.



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