10 Things You Need To Know About Italy


italy mask scream

Photo: jennicatpink on Flickr

yone’s going nuts over Italy today.The Italian stock market is tanking, 10-year bond yields are going through the roof, and no one trusts Italy’s corrupt, sex-crazed PM Silvio Berlusconi to do anything about it. Things are so bad that Greece is jealous.

But in case you’re still wondering what all the fuss is about, here’s a cheat sheet to the Italian mess.

Italy's 2010 GDP was $2.055 trillion.

That makes it the eighth-largest economy in the world and the fourth-largest in Europe.

Source: IMF Statistics

Italy's gross public sector debt amounted to 119% of its GDP at the end of 2010.

That's the second-largest percentage of public debt in the Euro-zone.

In comparison:

Greece: 142.8%

Belgium: 96.8%

Ireland: 96.2%

Portugal: 93.0%

Spain: 60.1%

Source: Eurostat

Unemployment stood at 8.6% for the first quarter of 2011.

Youth unemployment is 28.8%.

Italy's long-term foreign currency credit ratings currently stand at...

Moody's: Aa2 (negative outlook)

Standard & Poor's: A+ (negative outlook)

Fitch's: AA- (stable outlook)

Source: Reuters

Italy's current account deficit amounted to $61.2 billion dollars in 2010.

Only two countries have a larger deficit: the US and Spain.

Source: CIA World Factbook

Public spending accounted for 55.6% of GDP in 2009.

The governments of the UK, Austria, Belgium, France, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark all spend more.

Source: OECD Statistics

Italy's GDP grew by 1.2% last year.

The OECD predicts it will grow by 1.1% this year. Greece, Portugal, Japan, Ireland, New Zealand, and Spain are expected to grow even less.

Source: OECD Statistics

Yields on 10-year government bonds have jumped to 5.54%.

Source: Bloomberg

The major Italian stock index -- the FTSE MIB --10% in just the last few days.

Source: The Guardian

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