Italy Slips Back Into 6th Among West’s Economies

From Reuters

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

Italy’s gross domestic product, the broad measure of the goods and services that 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 were occupied by the United States, Japan, West Germany and France.


Italy’s brief success in toppling Britain from fifth place was attributed mainly to an 18% jump in its GDP in 1985 as the National Statistics Institute attempted to incorporate the booming hidden economy into official figures.

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