Italy’s central bank head gives bleak view of growth

Rome, Oct 29 (IANS/AKI) The head of Italy’s central bank Thursday warned that his country’s rebound from the worst recession in more than six decades should continue to be slow through at least next year as the outlook for increased foreign demand for Italian goods worsens.

‘The prospects of GDP (gross domestic product) growth for the rest of this year and next should be more or less 1 percent,’ Draghi said in Rome in a speech to bankers and politicians.

‘The GDP during first half of the year benefited from a growth in exports that is currently slowing,’ he said.

Italy’s economic output last year fell 5.1 percent prompting companies to lay off workers and put a freeze on hiring. The economy grew 0.5 percent in the second quarter.

The country’s unemployment in August showed some signs of easing when it fell to 8.2 percent, the lowest in a year, as exports helped buoy the fragile economic recovery.

Draghi’s central bank recently took issue with Italy’s official unemployment rate saying that it is actually significantly higher.

Using a broader measure of joblessness calculated by adding those paid by the redundancy fund known as Cassa Integrazione, was over 11 percent, the Bank of Italy said Oct 15.

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