Italy statistics bureau sees GDP growth prospects strengthening

Italian economic growth is likely to continue to strengthen in the near term, national statistics bureau ISTAT said on Tuesday.

Economists have been raising their forecasts for Italian growth ever since gross domestic product rose a stronger-than-expected 0.4 percent in the first quarter.

The economy expanded at the same rate in the second quarter and most monthly data have continued to be firm.

ISTAT said in its monthly economic bulletin that consumer and business confidence were improving and its composite forward looking indicator “points to a strengthening of growth prospects.”

The government of Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni is expected to raise its official 2017 growth forecast to around 1.4 percent when it issues new economic targets later this month, from a current target of 1.1 percent.

That would still leave Italy in its customary position among the most sluggish economies in the euro zone.
Source: Reuters (Reporting By Gavin Jones)