Italy's economy grew by 0.6 per cent last year, below government estimates and economists' forecasts, national statistics institute Istat reported Friday.
Istat said gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.1 per cent, on a quarterly and seasonally adjusted basis, in the last three months of 2015. The consensus forecast among economists was 0.3 per cent.
Across 2015, GDP rose by 0.6 per cent, whereas in September the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had counted on a 0.9-per-cent expansion when drawing up its budget plans.
A slowing economy will make it harder for Renzi to balance the books, potentially setting up a clash with European Union budget discipline watchdogs. The Italian leader has long been urging the bloc to ease up on austerity and focus more on creating jobs and growth.