Italian Populists Concede Sharply Lower Economic Growth This Year

Italy’s populist coalition government has formally conceded that economic growth will be sharply lower this year than it had previously forecast, underlining its struggle to reconcile plans for higher public spending with a stubbornly slow domestic economy, the Financial Times reported. Following a meeting of ministers on Tuesday, the Italian government approved an updated budget plan that forecasts gross domestic product will be 0.2 per cent in 2019, bringing its estimates closer in line with the expectations of the IMF and vast majority of private sector economists. The government’s concession that growth will be lower this year makes it a near certainty that the eurozone’s third-largest economy will burst through the cap on its budget deficit that was only agreed with the European Commission late last year after months of public wrangling between Rome and Brussels. Read more