Italian Finance Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni said the country’s economy will turn positive in the fourth quarter and stay positive in 2014.
“We are at a turning point in the business cycle,” Saccomanni said, speaking in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Peter Cook in Washington today. “There is a consensus among all international, national analysts that the economy is indeed in a phase of recovery.”
Italy’s recession, the country’s longest since World War II, entered its third year after gross domestic product narrowed 0.1 percent in the three months through September compared to the second quarter, national statistics institute Istat said in a preliminary report in Rome on Nov. 14. From a year earlier, the economy shrank 1.9 percent.
“The fourth quarter of the year will turn positive, and we expect that the economy will remain positive throughout the next year,” according to Saccomanni.
Prime Minister Enrico Letta named Saccomanni, 71, finance minister this April. Prior to that, Saccomanni was director general of the Bank of Italy.
The Italian finance chief is scheduled to meet with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Vice Chairman Janet Yellen as well as International Monetary Fund First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton during his trip to Washington this week.
Saccomanni said today Europe has had a “very good” dialogue with Yellen, who is expected to take the helm at the Fed after Bernanke’s term ends in January.
“The commitment to revive the recovery and growth in not only the United States, but all over the world, is going to be an important element in the years ahead,” Saccomanni said. He said Yellen “knows very well the impact” of monetary policies on world economies.
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