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EU sees weaker growth, bigger debt in Italy

The European Commission said on Tuesday it forecasts a sluggish 0.1 percent growth of the Italian economy this year, with the country's huge debt set to grow bigger.

The European Economic Forecast published by the EU's executive arm said Italy's economy expanded by 0.9 percent in 2018, but for 2019 "real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is expected to remain sluggish at 0.1 percent," a cut from the original 0.2-percent forecast.

The forecast sees "weak growth and fiscal loosening weigh on public finances" of Italy, with the general government deficit expected to increase to 2.5 percent of GDP.

The debt would grow to 133.7 percent of GDP this year, and 135.2 percent in 2020, according to the forecast.

Italy, the euro zone's third-largest economy, has one of the highest government debt in Europe.


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