March 3, 2014 / 9:06 AM / 6 years ago

Italy 2013 fiscal deficit hits EU 3 pct limit for second year running, GDP falls 1.9 pct

A man stands in front of the stock exchange in downtown Milan September 13, 2012. REUTERS/Paolo Bona

(Reuters) - Italy’s fiscal came in at 3.0 percent of gross domestic product last year, bang on the European Union’s ceiling for the second year running and in line with Rome’s most recent target, data showed on Monday.

The economy contracted by 1.9 in 2013, slightly more than the government’s forecast of -1.8 percent, following a GDP fall of 2.4 percent in 2012, slightly revised from -2.5 percent, national statistics bureau ISTAT reported.

Italy emerged from its longest post-war recession with marginal growth of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. Weak growth is expected to continue this year.

Most analysts expect growth of around 0.5 percent this year, about half the government’s official target of 1.1 percent.

Italy’s public debt, the second highest in the euro zone after Greece’s, rose to a new record of 132.6 percent of GDP in 2013, ISTAT said, up from 127.0 percent the year before.

That was slightly below the most recent government target of 132.9 percent.

New Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who took office last month, has promised rapid and radical reform to tackle Italy’s weak economy and surging unemployment.

ISTAT gave the following data on Italy’s GDP, the budget deficit and the public debt.

Reporting by Gavin Jones

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