ROME, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Italy's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 1.4 percent in 2017, according to preliminary estimates by ISTAT national statistics agency released Wednesday.
Calendar-adjusted GDP expanded by 1.5 percent last year, ISTAT added. This was in line with the Bank of Italy numbers. In its first 2018 bulletin setting out its projections for the Italian economy in 2018-2020, the central bank said it estimates calendar-adjusted GDP grew by 1.5 percent in 2017.
The national economy should slow to 1.2 percent growth in 2019 and 2020, according to the bulletin.
"GDP growth of 1.4 percent is too low," ANSA news agency cited former prime minister Matteo Renzi as commenting at a pre-electoral meeting with Confcommercio retailers' association.
"Although we reached record growth in the past seven years, unfortunately no other European Union country posted lower GDP numbers than ours in 2017," commented Paolo Zabeo, research coordinator at CGIA think tank based in Mestre, near Venice.
According to preliminary GDP estimates for the fourth quarter of 2017, the seasonally- and calendar-adjusted Italian economy expanded by 0.3 percent compared to the previous quarter and by 1.6 percent with respect to the same period in 2016, according to the ISTAT report.
The expansion was due on the supply side to the industrial and service sectors, combined with increased domestic demand and a rise in exports, ISTAT said.