ROME, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Italy's economy grew 0.2 percent in the third quarter, slightly below expectations, after a 0.5 percent increase between April and June, preliminary data showed on Friday. Official statistics agency ISTAT reported that gross domestic product was up 1.0 percent year-on-year, slowing from a rise of 1.3 percent in the second quarter. FORECASTS A Reuters survey of 27 analysts had pointed to an increase of 0.3 percent q/q, +1.1 percent y/y. TABLE ISTAT gave the following details: Q3 2010 Q2 2010 Q1 2010 Q/Q (pct change) 0.2 0.5 0.4 Y/Y (pct change) 1.0 1.3 0.5 Overall value (bln euro) 305.422 304.867 303.428 COMMENTARY LOREDANA FEDERICO, UNICREDIT "The data is a bit weaker than expected and shows a marked growth slowdown from the second quarter. Net exports were probably still positive, but less than in Q2, and we expect there was a sharp slowdown in investments in machinery." GILLES MOEC, DEUTSCHE BANK "It's just a shade below what we expected but it confirmes that after a strong first half things are slowing in the second half but in an orderly way. "It's a similar story in the euro zone as a whole. We have confirmation of what i would call a super soft landing after we were supported by exceptional factors in the first half. "The problem for core euro zone countries is that we haven't yet seen the impact of fiscal consolidation on domestic spending. I would expect a further deceleration in 2011 when fiscal retrenchment starts in earnest. That's true of Italy and the euro zone as a whole. "For Q3 in the euro zone I expect a rise of 0.3 or 0.4 percent. That's above our original 0.2 percent forecast because Spain posted a flat reading rather than contracting as we expected." (Gavin Jones; Rome newsroom; firstname.lastname@example.org; Phone: +39-06-8522-4232) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.
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