Mercoledì, 26 Settembre 2018
ROME

Bank of Italy forecasts negative growth, 12% jobless

English
© ANSA

Rome, January 18 - The Bank of Italy painted a
gloomy picture of the recession-hit country's economic prospects
on Friday, revising downwards its gross domestic product
forecast for this year and predicting that unemployment will
reach 12% in 2014.
The central bank said in a report that it had revised
downwards its GDP forecast in 2013, predicting negative growth
of 1%, having previously said it expected the economy to
contract by 0.2%.
It said the revision was down to the "deterioration of the
international climate and the continuation of the weakness of
(economic) activity in recent months".
It estimated that Italy's economy shrank by 2.1% in 2012.
Although Italy is set to pull out of recession in the
second half of this year, the nation will not post a positive
gross domestic product figure for the whole year until 2014, the
Bank of Italy said.
It added that even then it will be only be modest growth of
0.7% and warned that there were "large margins of uncertainty"
about this forecast.
It said 2014 will be of a year of growth on the basis of a
scenario in which there is a "gradual resumption of investments
following the normalisation of finance conditions, recovery of
(consumer) demand and...a climate of confidence".
The end of the recession later this year will not stop
employment climbing by about 1% to reach 12% of the working
population in 2014, the bank said.
Italy's jobless level reached a record high of 11.1% in
October and stayed at the same level in November, according to
national statistics agency Istat.
"Employment levels will fall this year (almost by 1%) and
they will stagnate again in the next," the central bank said.
It added that unemployment will stabilise during 2014 but
said there will be not be "a reversal of the trend".
The Bank of Italy stressed, however, that the grim outlook
should not be used as an excuse by the next Italian government
to relax economic policy.
It argued that the country must continue with the fiscal
consolidation and economic reforms embarked on by outgoing
Premier Mario Monti's government.
"It is indispensable to consolidate the rebalancing of the
public accounts in Italy and to intensify reforms aimed at
reviving competitiveness and raising the potential for growth,"
the central bank said in a report.
It added that Monti's 'Save Italy' austerity budget of tax
hikes and spending cuts passed to reassure the financial markets
that the country was putting its economic house in order would
improve the national accounts in 2013 and 2014.
The package was passed late in 2011 soon after Monti took
the helm of an emergency administration of unelected technocrats
after Silvio Berlusconi resigned as premier with Italy's debt
crisis in danger of spiralling our of control.
Italian voters are set to elect a new government next
month.
Former European commissioner Monti is standing for office,
but his new reform ticket backed by centrist parties was only
fourth in a poll released Friday by the SWG agency, with 13.7%
of voters intending to back it.
The centre-left alliance of Pier Luigi Bersani led with
33%, Berlusconi's centre-right coalition was second with 27.2%
and the populist, anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) of
Genoa comedian Beppe Grillo was third with 16.8%.
National statistic agency Istat also released negative
economic data on Friday.
Istat said Italian industrial turnover fell for the 11th
straight month, by an annual 5.4%, in November.
Orders fell for the 15th month in a row, by an annual 6.7%.
Month-on-month falls were 0.2% and 0.5% respectively.

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