Italian Economy Grew Less Than Forecast in Second Quarter

Italy's Central Bank As Banking Report Due
Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg

The Italian economy grew less than forecast in the three months through June, as Premier Matteo Renzi seeks to reform the country’s debt-ridden public finances.

Gross domestic product rose 0.2 percent from the first quarter, when it registered a 0.3 percent increase, national statistics institute Istat said in a preliminary report Friday. The second-quarter expansion was lower than the median forecast of 0.3 percent by 18 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The euro area’s third-largest economy rose 0.5 percent from a year earlier.

Renzi has pledged to abolish a much-hated property levy on first homes and cut corporate taxes over the next few years in an attempt to regain popularity and revamp consumer spending after a record-long recession. His plan to boost recovery and cut a debt of 2.2 trillion euros ($2.5 trillion) relies on the economy picking up further. The Bank of Italy forecasts a 0.7 percent increase this year.

The European Union’s statistics office is scheduled to release second-quarter growth figures for the euro area at 11 a.m. in Luxembourg.

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