The Italian economy continues to decline, in a trend that might be accelerating because of pervasive inefficiency and a government unable to implement reform. The Bank of Italy expects a 1.9% economic contraction this year. Since 2007, the eurozone's third-biggest economy has lost 500,000 industrial jobs and 15% of its industrial capacity. Standard & Poor's downgraded the credit rating of 18 Italian banks based on the weakening economy.

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