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Italy confirms 2019 GDP growth at 0.3%, deficit/GDP at 1.6%

FILE PHOTO: An empty street in the Porta Nuova district is seen, on the sixth day of an unprecedented lockdown across of all Italy imposed to slow the outbreak of coronavirus in Milan, Italy March 15, 2020. REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Italy posted economic growth of 0.3% last year, national statistics bureau ISTAT reported on Tuesday, confirming its previous estimate made in March.

The latest report is part of ISTAT’s standard data release calendar and reflects the arrival of more complete economic data.

The 2019 budget deficit was confirmed at 1.6% of gross domestic product, the lowest ratio since 2007, while the public debt last year stood at an unrevised 134.6% of GDP.

Gross domestic product growth in 2018 was revised marginally to 0.9% from a previously reported 0.8%.

This year, the coronavirus-hit economy is expected to post its steepest post-war recession, while the deficit and debt are both targeted to surge as the government ramps up spending to soften the economic blow to firms and households.

Reporting by Valentina Consiglio, writing by Gavin Jones

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