Letta sees 'seeds' of recovery for Italy

Italy emerging from longest recession since WWII

(ANSA) - Rome, December 18 - Premier Enrico Letta said Wednesday that the seeds of Italy's recovery from its longest recession since World War II were developing. "The seeds of the recovery that we have ahead of us are sprouting in these days, in these weeks," Letta said in a video message to national car industry association Anfia. After eight consecutive quarters of negative growth, the country gross domestic product (GDP) was flat in the July-September period with respect to the previous three months. The government forecasts that Italy will return to positive growth in the fourth quarter of this year. "The fall in GDP has stopped and the interest rates (on Italy's huge public debt) have come down by a significant degree," the premier said. Letta also said Wednesday that he was confident Italy's economy can growth 1% next year and 2% in 2015. "Growth of 1% next year and 2% in 2015 is a goal that is within our reach if the interest rates remain low, confidence in Italy remains strong and, obviously, the public accounts stay in order," Letta told a meeting of Italian ambassadors.