ROME, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Italy's economy grew 0.2 percent in the third quarter, slightly below expectations and slowing sharply from the 0.5 percent increase between April and June, preliminary data showed on Friday. A Reuters survey of 27 analysts had pointed to an increase of 0.3 percent. 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. "This confirmes that after a strong first half things are slowing in the second half but in an orderly way," said Deutsche Bank economist Gilles Moec. "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." Earlier on Friday, data from Germany, the euro zone's largest economy, showed GDP rose 0.7 percent in the third quarter, in line with forecasts, while France posted a rise of 0.4 percent, marginally shy of expectations for 0.5 percent. The three nations make up around two thirds of the euro zone economy. Aggregate euro zone data will be released at 1000 GMT, with the median forecast in a Reuters survey pointing to rises of 0.4 percent quarter-on-quarter and 1.9 percent year-on-year. Moec said he expected a further growth slowdown in the main euro zone countries in 2011, when the effect of deficit and debt cutting measures take a toll on economies. ISTAT gave no mumerical breakdown of GDP components with its preliminary estimate, saying only that activity in industry and services both expanded, while agriculture contracted. Keywords: ITALY GDP/ (Gavin Jones; Rome newsroom; email@example.com; Phone: +39-06-8522-4232) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.
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