Italy's GDP to fall 5% in Q1, then 10% in Q2 - budget watchdog

ROME, April 21 (Reuters) - Italy’s economy contracted by around 5% in the first quarter of 2020 from the previous three months and will shrink a further 10% in the second quarter, the parliamentary budget watchdog (UPB) said on Tuesday, reflecting the lockdown to fight the coronavirus.

Deaths from the COVID-19 infection in Italy rose to more than 24,100 on Monday, the second-highest tally in the world after the United States.

The first half of the year will see a “decline in economic activity of exceptional intensity, never before recorded in the history of the (post-war) Republic,” UPB said in a statement. (Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, editing by Gavin Jones)