The Italian economy shrank in the first three months of this year, according to official figures.
It suffered because of a slump in investment, and a sharp fall in exports as the euro rose in value.
The national statistics office, Istat, said the economy contracted by 0.1% from the last three months of 2002 - the first quarterly fall since 2001.
Istat was confirming preliminary figures released in May.
It said investment fell 5% from the previous quarter, while exports were down 3.5%.
Imports also dropped, but their value was almost equivalent to exports.
In the previous quarter exports exceeded imports by 2bn euros (£1.4bn; $2.3bn) and Italy's economy grew by 0.4%.
The government-funded economic institute, ISAE, has predicted that growth will return in the three months to the end of June.
And the government is forecasting growth this year of about 1%.
Over the past ten years, Italy has had one of the
lowest annual growth rates in the European Union.
The euro zone economy as a whole stagnated in the first
Only growth in France and Spain offset contractions in
Germany and Italy to keep euro zone growth flat.