Italian budget deficit revised up

5 Apr 18

Italy’s statistics bureau ISTAT has increased its assessment of the country’s 2017 budget deficit to 2.3% of gross domestic product.

This is up from the deficit-to-GDP ratio of 1.9% ISTAT reported at the beginning of March.

It also reported a debt-GDP ratio of 131.5%.

However, both Italy’s deficit and debt are down on 2016 rates when the deficit stood at 2.5% and debt at 132.0%.

The bureau said the revision to the deficit was because it did not initially include public money used to bail out two local banks in the Northern region and save the Tuscan lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Reuters reported.

At the Italian parliamentary elections at the beginning of March, the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the far-right League gained strong support on platforms of tax cuts and increased welfare spending.

Both said they would increase the budget deficit if necessary.

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