Slowdown in Italian economy has ended

Slowdown in Italian economy has ended

Recent data show that the slowdown in the Italian economy has ended, Italy’s Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said in an interview published Dec. 30.
Italy’s economy, the most sluggish in the eurozone for more than a decade, has not posted a single quarter of growth in the last three years.

“After three years of recession ... employment is starting to grow again,” Padoan told the Corriere della Sera newspaper, adding that would boost consumer and business confidence and kick-start growth in the euro zone’s third-largest economy.

The government is forecasting economic output will fall 0.3 percent this year, before rising a meagre 0.6 percent in 2015.

The minister said the government would approve a package of measures in January to boost investment.

These would include fiscal measures to support small companies, efforts to help non-financial entities like insurers give credit directly to companies, moves to reduce regulatory risk for foreign investors in Italy, and encouraging private investment in cultural activities, Padoan said.

He also said Italy would avoid being put under budget surveillance by the European Commission and that its public debt, proportionately the second highest in the eurozone after Greece’s, would start to fall in 2016.
Italy will go ahead next year with stalled plans to sell state-owned companies and public real estate assets, aiming to raise funds and cut its debt, Padoan said.