December 19, 2018 / 7:03 PM / 3 months ago

Italy's Tria says expects economy to grow more than 1 percent in 2019

FILE PHOTO: Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria gestures during a Euro zone finance ministers meeting to discuss reforms of the monetary union in Brussels, Belgium, November 19, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Vidal/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - The Italian economy should grow by more than one percent next year, Economy Minister Giovanni Tria said on Wednesday, adding that he hoped the country would avoid a recession after output contracted unexpectedly in the third quarter.

Earlier on Wednesday, the government confirmed it had lowered its 2019 growth forecast to 1.0 percent from a previous 1.5 percent target as part of a broader deal to get European Union backing for its contested 2019 budget.

Speaking on RAI state television, Tria denied ever considering resigning because of strife within the government over the budget and said Wednesday’s deal should lay to rest any lingering doubts the coalition opposes the euro currency.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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