Expansive policy could be dangerous- BoI

Spread rise risks frustrating efforts to boost growth -Signorini

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    (ANSA) - Rome, November 9 - Bank of Italy Deputy Director General Federico Signorini warned Friday that an expansive fiscal policy was risky. "Although useful in adverse phases of the (economic) cycle, an expansive budget policy does not guarantee growth in the medium term and could endanger it in the long term," Signorini told a joint hearing of the House and Senate budget committees on the government's budget package for 2019. He said the government's growth targets, which it hopes to achieve with the help of an expansive budget featuring a deficit of 2.4% of GDP next year, were "ambitious".
    The government forecasts Italy's GDP will grow 1.5% next year and 1.6% the year after.
    "The expansive impact foreseen by the government appears high," Signorini said. He also said that the positive impact of the government's fiscal policy risked being undone by rises in the yields on Italy's State bonds.
    He said that the sharp recent increases in the spread between Italian and German bonds "has already cost the taxpayer almost 1.5 billion euros in (extra) interest over the last six months".
    He said the cost of servicing the national debt could go up to over five billion euros in 2019 and around nine billion in 2020 "if the rates should stay consistent with the current market expectations".
    "The growth in interest rates on the public debt has an effect that in some way is comparable with tightening monetary policy," he added, "risking to frustrate the whole of the expansive impulse from the budget policy".