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Italy's GDP figures point to less extreme drop than expected: minister

FILE PHOTO: Italian Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri attends a meeting in Naples, Italy, February 27, 2020. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Data showing a sharp drop in Italian economic output in the second quarter reflected the inevitable impact of the COVID crisis but were less severe than expected, Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri said on Friday, calling for continued vigilance.

Italy’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell 12.4% between April and June from the previous three months, preliminary data showed on Friday, as activity nosedived during the coronavirus pandemic, but the fall was less marked than many analysts had forecast.

“It is now necessary to remain vigilant on the health security front and to continue with policies to support the economic and social fabric of our country,” Gualtieri said in a statement.

Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni; editing by James Mackenzie

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