Italy business lobby sees 10% GDP contraction this year, "partial" rebound in 2021

The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Milan

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's business lobby Confindustria said on Saturday it saw just a "partial" rebound for the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021 after an expected 10% contraction this year, as the coronavirus epidemic still loomed.

Confindustria's research unit CSC said a recent spike in new COVID-19 cases was a source of uncertainty and a cause for expected economic weakness in the last quarter of this year.

"A recovery of GDP should restart in a gradual fashion from start-2021, on the condition that the COVID-19 spread is contained in an effective way," it said.

CSC estimates Italian GDP to grow 4.8% next year. However such projection does not include the effects of Rome's next budget manoeuvre and resources made available by the European union, it said.

Daily new coronavirus infections on Friday topped 5,000 for the first time since March.

Italian GDP, hit by one of the world's strictest coronavirus lockdowns between March and May, shrank by 13% in the second quarter from the previous three months, the steepest GDP fall since national statistic bureau ISTAT's current series began in 1995.

Italy's government expects its coronavirus-hit economy to shrink by 9% this year and to grow 6% in 2021, according to its latest macroeconomic and public finance projections issued last month.

(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari, Editing by William Maclean)