ROME Italy's economy, which stagnated in the second quarter, is likely to remain weak in the coming months, national statistics bureau ISTAT said on Wednesday.
ISTAT said its leading indicator was negative in September for the eighth consecutive month, suggesting that a scenario of "persistent weakness" was likely to continue in the near term.
Recent data has been patchy at best in the euro zone's third largest economy, and a survey on Wednesday showed that activity in the manufacturing and services sectors slowed in September to its weakest since May.
Italian gross domestic product expanded by 0.7 percent last year, less than half the rate across the 19-nation euro zone.
The government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi last week cut its forecast for 2016 growth to 0.8 percent from 1.2 percent, after weaker than expected data in the first half of the year.
(Reporting by Gavin Jones; Editing by Crispian Balmer)