BUSINESS Italy's economy to increase 1.1 pct in 2018, 1.3 pct in 2019: ISTAT outlook

BUSINESS

Italy's economy to increase 1.1 pct in 2018, 1.3 pct in 2019: ISTAT outlook

Xinhua

20:35, November 21, 2018

ROME, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Italian economy was expected to grow by 1.1 percent in real terms in 2018, according to a latest report released by the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) on Wednesday.

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File photo: AFP

The projection was in line with the latest forecasts by the European Union (EU) Commission, which also put Italy's annual growth at 1.1 percent in its autumn report. 

The country's economy -- which is the third largest in euro-zone -- grew by 1.6 percent in 2017.

"Domestic demand will provide a contribution of 1.3 percentage points (this year), and foreign demand will account for a negative 0.2 points, while inventories will provide a null contribution," ISTAT said in its outlook 2018-2019.

The statistical agency also estimated sales abroad would grow by 1.6 percent overall, and imports by 2.6 percent in 2018.

Household consumption expenditure would rise by 0.9 percent. In both 2018 and 2019, the purchasing power of residential families in Italy would be supported by the stabilization in employment and an increase in wages, ISTAT explained.

Meanwhile, employment growth was expected to stabilize at 0.9 percent in both 2018 and 2019, and the unemployment rate would be at 10.5 percent this year.

Investments were expected to grow by 3.9 percent in 2018, decelerating against a 4.3 percent increase in 2017, according to the report.

As for 2019, ISTAT forecast a growth of Italy's gross domestic product (GDP) by 1.3 percent, "driven by the contribution of domestic demand by 1.3 percentage points, associated to a null contribution of foreign demand and inventories."

Both exports and imports would accelerate next year, with a 3.2 percent and 3.5 percent increase, respectively.

Household consumption expenditure would further rise by 1.2 percent, while investments would show a further deceleration, growing by 3.2 percent next year.

The jobless rate should decrease slightly on the annual basis, stabilizing at 10.2 percent in 2019, according to the statistical office.

"These projections take into account the less favourable international framework and the expansionary fiscal policies implemented (by the Italian government) in the 2018 Budget Law," ISTAT explained in its report.

In its autumn forecasts, the EU Commission projected the Italian growth at 1.2 percent in 2019.

Overall, the euro-zone's GDP was expected to grow by 2.1 percent in 2018 and by 1.9 percent in 2019, according to the EU executive body. In both cases, Italy's level of growth would be the lowest among those expected from the 19 EU member countries using the euro currency.

Finally, the EU Commission's autumn forecast projected the EU-27 (without UK) to grow by 2.2 percent this year and by 2.0 percent in 2019.


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