Italian business lobby sees stronger economic growth, GDP up 6.1% in 2021


People sit at outdoor tables in St. Mark’s Square, Venice, Italy on May 16, 2021. REUTERS / Manuel Silvestri / File Photo

ROME, October 16 (Reuters) – Italian business lobby Confindustria said on Saturday that the country’s growth this year would be more robust than expected, mainly due to a more contained impact of the COVID-19 Delta variant and indicators economic strengths stronger than expected.

In a report, the research unit of the association CSC predicts that the gross domestic product (GDP) will increase by 6.1% this year and by 4.1% next year, exceeding pre-pandemic levels in the first half of 2022.

In April, the research unit said Italy’s GDP would grow 4.1% in 2021.

His forecasts for this year are now just above the 6% expected by the government of national unity led by Mario Draghi.

Last year, the economy affected by COVID contracted 8.9%, the deepest recession in post-war history in Italy. The firm recovery currently in place is resulting in lower than expected public deficit and debt ratios this year.

The CSC report warned that from the last quarter of this year, GDP growth would have a “more moderate profile”.

He said his estimates took into account Italy’s multibillion-euro stimulus package, partly funded by the European Union.

He added that despite the “positive outlook”, the forecast carried downside risks related to the possibility of further COVID-19 restrictions, lack of raw materials that could slow production and more structural inflation.

Confindustria President Carlo Bonomi said the recovery was well underway but it was important to “keep the guard”.

“Italy must return to annual growth of at least 1.5 to 2%, an achievable target, equal to the annual growth recorded between 1997 and 2007,” he said.

Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Alex Richardson

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