Italy's economy to grow slower than expected in 2016

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16:00 CET+01:00
The European Commission on Thursday issued revised growth rate predictions for Italy, lowering expectations for 2016 GDP growth to 1.4 percent – down from the 1.5 percent predicted in November.

The change reflected revised predictions for GDP growth across the eurozone, which the commission estimated would grow by 1.7 percent compared to 1.8 percent calculated in November, Ansa reported.

“Risks to the economy are becoming more pronounced,” the report stated, citing “slower growth in China” and "geopolitical uncertainty” as major threats to the eurozone economy as a whole.

Worryingly, the new figures also suggested that while Italy's deficit to GDP forecast would continue to fall, it would not fall as low as the 2.3 percent predicted in November, but to 2.5 percent.

The commission said that the change reflected the expansionist impact of the 2016 budget of Matteo Renzi's government, which involves “ €3.2 billion in additional spending on security and culture.”

But it wasn't all doom and gloom. Italy's unemployment rate is forecast to fall faster than expected to 11.4 percent from 11.8 percent over the year.

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“As the recovery strengthens, employment rates will continue to rise in 2016 and 1017,” the report said.

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