Govt stands by economic forecasts - Tria

Parliamentary body didn't OK DEF,said growth data too optimistic

(ANSA) - Rome, October 10 - Economy Minister Giovanni Tria said Wednesday that the government was standing by the forecasts in its economic blueprint, the DEF. The Bank of Italy has criticised the DEF and parliamentary budget office UPB on Tuesday failed to approve it, saying the growth forecasts were too optimistic. "Following the parliamentary budget office's failure to validate the economic planning outlook, the government considers it opportune to confirm the forecasts in the DEF update statement," Tria told a parliamentary hearing. The executive plans to let Italy's deficit rise to 2.4% of GDP next year, saying an expansive budget will help GDP to increase by 1.5% in 2019, 1.6% in 2020 and 1.4% in 2021, with the help of new public investments and welfare spending.
    The European Commission has expressed concern that the budget plan will lead Italy to breach EU rules. Tria said the difference between the government's growth forecasts and more downbeat ones by "international analysts and institutions" was because the latter were working with "partial and obsolete information" that does not account for the government's plans.