January 24, 2019 / 10:53 AM / 3 months ago

Italy's Tria says 2019 deficit target based on 0.6 percent growth forecast

FILE PHOTO - Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria attends a eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium January 21, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Italy’s 2019 budget deficit target was based on an economic growth forecast of just 0.6 percent, Economy Minister Giovanni Tria said on Thursday, shrugging off recent predictions of a slowdown in output.

The government has set a budget deficit target of 2.04 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year.

The International Monetary Fund recently cut its estimate for Italy’s growth in 2019 to 0.6 percent, compared to the government’s 1 percent target, but Tria told reporters at Davos that this would not impact the official deficit goal because it was based on conservative Treasury calculations.

“The key point is that our deficit targets agreed with the European Union concern the structural deficit, which does not take the economic cycle into account,” he added.

Writing by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Giselda Vagnoni

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