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In Brief : Italy’s Economy Slips Back to No. 6

From Times Staff and Wire Service Reports

Italy, which a year ago triumphantly announced it had overtaken Britain as the world’s fifth-largest Western economic power, has slipped back into sixth place, according to the latest data from the National Statistics Institute released today.

Italy’s gross domestic product, the broad measure of the goods and services a country produces excluding its foreign income, fell behind Britain’s in 1986, the latest year for which data is available, after having edged ahead in 1985 for the first time.

The first four places in the league table were occupied by the United States, Japan, West Germany and France.

Italy’s brief success in toppling Britain from its fifth place in the international league table was due mainly to an 18% jump in its GDP in 1985 as the institute attempted to incorporate the booming hidden economy into official figures.

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But the recalculation was criticized by some politicians and newspapers because boosting the official GDP risked forcing an increase in Italy’s contributions to the European Community budget and reducing its eligibility for regional EC aid.


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