November 2, 2017 / 3:10 PM / in a year

Italy Oct state sector deficit widens vs year earlier

ROME, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Italy posted a state sector budget deficit of around 5 billion euros ($5.8 billion) in October, an increase of 1.2 billion euros on the same month last year, the Treasury said on Thursday.

In the first 10 months of the year, the deficit amounted to 61.1 billion euros, some 11.5 billion euros more than in the same period of 2016, the Treasury statement said.

The increase in the deficit this year is “in large measure due to the payments made in July and August to safeguard the banking system and protect savers,” the Treasury said, adding that the number was still consistent with government forecasts.

The state sector borrowing requirement (SSBR), a measure of the gap between central government spending and income, differs from the broader “general government” accounts, which the European Union Stability and Growth Pact refers to when assessing countries’ deficit performances.

Italy aims to trim its general government deficit this year to 2.1 percent of gross domestic product from 2.5 percent last year, remaining inside the European Union’s 3 percent ceiling. ($1 = 0.8577 euros) (Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Crispian Balmer)

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