Economic momentum proved somewhat weaker than expected in Q4 2017, with GDP growth slowing to +0.3% q/q from +0.4% q/q in Q3. While no detailed breakdown is available as yet, the positive per¬formance was driven by domestic demand as well as exports, according to Italy’s statistics bureau. In 2017 as a whole the economy grew by +1.5% on a working-day adjusted basis – the strongest growth reading since 2010 – after +1.1% in the previous year. The brightening of the economic growth outlook – the average annual growth registered since joining the Eurozone is below +0.3% – has been driven by the broad-based cyclical upswing in Europe, the ECB’s expansive monetary policy and improving competitiveness with structural reforms bearing fruit. However, compared to its Eurozone peers Italy is still struggling to keep up. In 2018 we expect the economy to expand by +1.3% as the cyclical upswing in Europe gradually starts to lose steam, putting Italy at the bottom of the EU growth table.