IMF upgrades Italy's GDP forecast

13:43, January 21, 2010      

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday revised upward its growth forecast for Italy's gross domestic product (GDP), expecting it to rise by 1 percent this year and 1.3 percent in 2011, respectively, according to the Ansa news agency.

In October 2009, the Washington-based institute predicted Italy would have a 0.2 percent GDP growth in 2010 and 0.7 percent in 2011.

The IMF's upgraded forecast is in line with the positively revised predictions made by Italian Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti of a "1 percent more or less" economic growth in 2010.

Italy has entered a phase of recovery. The National Statistics Office Istat reported on Wednesday that industrial orders and turnover both rose in November 2009 over the previous month.

It also reported an improvement of Italy's trade deficit in November compared to 2008, saying it had decreased from 1.118 billion euros to 790 million euros.

According to Industry Minister Claudio Scajola, all the positive economic data demonstrated that the country had survived the global downturn and subsequent domestic recession.

"We can now say that the worst is behind us," he said on Wednesday at an awarding ceremony of the title of Italy's entrepreneurial excellency. "There is renewed confidence in our business community, a better outlook of export and a recovery in orders from abroad."

President Giorgio Napolitano noted that the "country was alive" and back on the road of recovery, but that "difficulties remain which we must not underestimate".

Source: Xinhua
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