The economic downturn is the result of a decrease in the value added in the sectors of industry and services and an increase in the agricultural sector. The first quarter of 2013 had the same number of working days in the previous quarter and one working day less than in the first quarter of 2012.
The acquired growth rate, which is the annual growth which would be achieved in the end of the year if there was a flat variation in the remaining quarters, stood at -1.5 percent.
In May, the statistics agency said the Eurozone's third largest economy would shrink by 1.4 percent in 2013. The country is still suffering from high unemployment levels of around 11 percent, and the jobless rate is forecast to rise to a record high of 12.3 percent in 2014, according to ISTAT.