When most of the euro zone seems to be flourishing, its third largest economy remains a major headache.

Italy is dubbed by many analysts as the biggest threat to the stability of the euro zone economy, even though recent data have come in above forecasts.

“Italy’s GDP (gross domestic product) year-on-year percentage change is only half of the euro zone average,” Marco Wagner, senior economist at Commerzbank in Germany told CNBC in an email. “This shall remain so for the time being,” he added.

The Italian economy is set to rise 0.9 percent this year and 1.1 percent in 2018, according to forecasts by the European Commission. The euro zone grew at a pace of 2.1 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of this year from 1.9 percent in the first quarter, figures from the EU’s statistical office showed earlier this month.

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