ROME, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Turnover in Italy's massive services industry declined by 12.1 percent last year -- the biggest one-year decline on record, though the country's National Statistics Institute (ISTAT) reported Friday that the rate of decline for the sector slowed over the final three months of the year.
The institute reported that the annual decline was the largest since record-keeping in this area began in 2001.
Compared to the previous quarter, turnover was down 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.
According to the data firm Statista, Italy's service sector -- which includes financial services as well as hotels, restaurants, catering, tourism, transport, maintenance, education, and government services -- accounted for nearly two-thirds of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019, the last full year before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The 12.1-percent reduction in turnover for the services sector was a major factor in ISTAT's preliminary estimate of an 8.8-percent contraction in the country's GDP last year, reported earlier this month.
For the year as a whole, turnover for travel agencies was down by 76.3 percent, air transport, down by 60.5 percent, and accommodation and restaurant services turnover, down by 42.5 percent, compared to 2019. The part of the services sector that performed best were delivery services, which grew by 4.4 percent compared to the previous year, and Internet services, up by 1.8 percent. Enditem