OECD more upbeat about Italy's economy

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The OECD’s chief economist Catherine Mann praised Italy's ambitious reforms. Photo: Eric Piermont/AFP
13:54 CET+01:00
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is feeling more upbeat about Italy’s economic prospects, going so far as to revise its growth forecasts for 2015 and 2016.

In its latest economic assessment, the OECD said Italy would see a growth rate of 0.6 percent this year and 1.3 percent in 2016.

The brighter outlook is thanks to Italy’s ambitious reforms package, which includes an overhaul of the labour market and taxation system, the OECD’s chief economist Catherine Mann said during a press conference on Wednesday.

“Italy has gone from stalling on reform to having an excellent reform pace and that's why we are more positive about the future prospects," she was quoted by Ansa as saying.

"There are opportunities for the country.”

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s reforms also include a revamp of the electoral process and the painfully sluggish judicial system as well as the education system.

In a report in February, the OECD said the real game-changer would be the so-called Jobs Act, which was backed by the Senate in December and aims to bring more flexibility to Italy’s job market.

Elsewhere in Europe, Germany is forecast to grow by 1.7 percent in 2015 and 2.2 percent in 2016, and France by 1.1 percent in 2015 and 1.7 percent in 2016.

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Low oil prices and monetary easing are boosting growth in the world’s major economies, the organization said.

However, the near-term pace of expansion remains modest, with abnormally low inflation and interest rates pointing to risks of financial instability.

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