EC cuts growth forecast, Italy worst performer in EU

Commission sees no signs of 'meaningful recovery'

(ANSA) - Brussels, November 7 - The European Commission said Thursday that it has cut its growth forecast for Italy for 2020 from 0.7% to 0.4%. In its autumn economic forecasts, the Commission said: "Italy's economy stalled at the beginning of 2018 and still shows no signs of a meaningful recovery". The Commission left its GDP forecast for Italy for 2019 unchanged at 0.1%.
    Italy was bottom for growth in the EU27 for both years. "In 2020, growth is set to pick up modestly on the back of rising external demand and moderate household spending, though the latter will be partly dampened by a weakening labour market," the Commission said. "Government deficit and debt are set to increase over the next years, amid weak economic growth and the rising costs of past measures. "Consumer price inflation is set to decrease this year and pick up moderately in 2020-2021".
    It said it expects Italy's public debt to rise from 136.2% in 2019 to 136.8% in 2020.
    It sees the deficit rising from 2.2% in 2019 to 2.3% in 2020.