April 26, 2018 / 10:51 AM / 10 months ago

Italy passes economic plan, sees 2018 growth at 1.5 percent

Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan arrives at G-20 plenary during the IMF/World Bank spring meeting in Washington, U.S., April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s caretaker government on Thursday passed its latest multi-year economic plan, forecasting 1.5 percent growth this year, the same rate as in 2017 and confirming its previous projection made in September.

Speaking after a Cabinet meeting, Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said the government’s forecast was “prudent”.

In 2019, gross domestic product is seen slowing to 1.4 percent, with growth seen at 1.3 percent in 2020.

Debt is seen falling to 130.8 percent of GDP this year, down a percentage point from 2017, but up from the previous forecast of 130.0 percent. It will fall to 128.0 percent in 2019.

The budget deficit will decline to 1.6 percent of GDP this year, down from 2.3 percent last year, Padoan said, and in line with the previous target.

Reporting by Massimiliano Di Giorgio, writing by Steve Scherer

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