Italy's economy stagnated in the third quarter, marking the end of two years of contraction, national statistics bureau ISTAT said today.

The bureau revised up a preliminary estimate to show gross domestic product was unchanged between July and September, originally reported as a 0.1% fall.

An ISTAT spokesman said that "from a technical point of view this data is not sufficient to say the recession is over."

On a year-on-year basis, Italian GDP fell 1.8%, revised up from the preliminary estimate of a contraction of 1.9%.

The second quarter figure was unrevised to show a drop of 0.3% quarter on quarter and a contraction of 2.2% on an annual  basis.

In the third quarter, the Italian economy was supported by strong inventory accumulation, while trade subtracted from growth, with imports growing much more than exports.