Italy cuts growth forecast for 2016

Rome, Nov 21 (IANS/AKI) Italy’s central statistics agency Istat on Monday lowered its growth outlook this year to 0.8 percent from 1.1 percent previously, citing weaker-than-expected consumer spending, investments and foreign demand.

Growth would probably slow in the last three months of 2016 after Italy’s economic output rose a better-than-expected 0.3 percent in the third quarter, Istat said in its twice-yearly forecasting note.

The 0.8 percent growth in Italy’s gross domestic product this year and 0.9 percent in 2017 seen by Istat, are broadly in line with government forecasts.

Despite the less than buoyant growth picture, unemployment will fall to 11.5 percent this year and to 11.3 percent in 2017, according to Istat.

Istat had predicted annual growth of 1.1 for 2016 in its May forecasting note.