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Fitch downgrades Italy’s debt rating; economy forecasted to contract 1.8% this year

Sunday, March 10th 2013 - 11:29 UTC
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PM Mario Monti’ technocrat government did not deliver all it was expected PM Mario Monti’ technocrat government did not deliver all it was expected

Ratings agency Fitch added to Italy's mounting problems this week by cutting its credit rating due to the political uncertainty after last week's election, deep recession and rising debt. Fitch lowered Italy's sovereign rating by one notch to BBB plus, with a negative outlook, raising the risk that its next ratings change will be a further downgrade.

“The inconclusive results of the Italian parliamentary elections on February 24-25 make it unlikely that a stable new government can be formed in the next few weeks” Fitch said.

“The increased political uncertainty and non-conducive backdrop for further structural reform measures constitute a further adverse shock to the real economy amidst the deep recession.”

The election produced a hung parliament, with a centre-left coalition winning the lower house but falling short of control of the Senate, which has equal legislative powers.

Fitch said it now expects the economy to shrink by 1.8% this year, far below the most recent forecast by Mario Monti's outgoing technocrat government of a 0.2% contraction.

Italy has been Europe's most sluggish economy for more than a decade. It has been in recession since the middle of 2011 and is not expected to post any growth until the second half of this year at the earliest. GDP shrank 2.4% last year.

With the economic weakness taking a heavy toll on public finances, it added that it sees Italian public debt, the second highest in the Euro zone after Greece's, peaking this year at nearly 130% of GDP. That was a sharp upward revision from its previous forecast of 125% made in 2012.

Categories: Economy, Politics, International.

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  • Britworker

    It's so frustrating, a holiday to Italy would be dirt cheap with all these downgrades if they still had the Lira. I hate the bloody Euro!

    Mar 11th, 2013 - 10:11 am 0
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