ITALY BUDGET – Italian Government spending to be monitored

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The Italian government will maintain its deficit and economic growth forecasts for 2019 despite European Commission demands for the budget plan to be revised, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said.

The Commission last month rejected Italy’s plan for a big increase in the deficit and described its growth forecast for 2019 as overly optimistic. It set Tuesday as a deadline for Rome to respond to its objections.

In a statement released after a cabinet meeting, Salvini said the deficit target would remain at 2.4 percent of economic output, and the growth forecast at 1.5 percent, though asset sales would be beefed up and spending closely monitored.

Italians have become growingly concerned about the European Union’s reaction to the budget plan which is expected next Tuesday.

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