By Giada Zampano

ROME--Italy fell back into recession for the third time in five years, data showed Wednesday, with gross domestic product dropping 0.2% in the second quarter of 2014 from the previous three months.

National statistics institute Istat said Wednesday that the decline in Italy's GDP during the second quarter stemmed from a contraction in all three main sectors of the economy--agriculture, manufacturing and services.

Italy's GDP declined 0.3% from the second quarter of 2013, Istat said, citing preliminary data.

An average forecast of economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires had foreseen a GDP increase of 0.2% from the previous quarter and a 0.1% rise year-on-year.

"The data show that the economy's contraction started in the third quarter of 2011 and was interrupted only once in the last quarter of 2013," an Istat official said.

Italy's economy contracted from 2008 to 2009 and from 2011 to 2013, contributing to the country's worst economic slump since World War II.

GDP grew by 0.1% in the last quarter of 2013 on a quarterly basis, for the first time after a two-year contraction.

The second-quarter estimate dashes hopes of an even modest recovery this year and comes despite efforts by Italy's new young premier Matteo Renzi to revive the euro zone's third-largest economy.

Economic forecasts are not offering Mr. Renzi and his five-month-old government much relief. The International Monetary Fund has recently cut its growth estimates for Italy to 0.3% in 2014, while Spain is expected to grow by 1.3%.

Write to Giada Zampano at giada.zampano@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 06, 2014 05:49 ET (09:49GMT)

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