ROME Nov 16 (Reuters) - Italy will not issue preliminary data for third quarter gross domestic product, so the performance of the economy for the period will only be known when final GDP data is issued on December 21, national statistics institute ISTAT said.
ISTAT normally issues a preliminary estimate for growth more than a month before the final numbers.
The institute said a series of revisions were being drawn up to previous data and this procedure had prevented the calculation of its customary preliminary estimate for the third quarter.
The euro zone's third largest economy is widely expected to have contracted between July and September and a further decline in GDP is expected for the fourth quarter. That would provide further fuel for a bond market sell-off that is already driving Italy to the verge of having to seek international aid.
Eurostat reported on Tuesday that aggregate GDP for the 17 nation euro zone rose a preliminary 0.2 percent in the third quarter. Italy's larger neighbours Germany and France posted growth of 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent respectively.