Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The Italian government’s economic overhaul will allow the euro region’s third-biggest economy to expand following years of “virtual stagnation,” a Bank of Italy official said.
“Concrete and relevant steps toward the country’s modernization are being taken through this decree,” Salvatore Rossi, the central bank’s deputy director general, told lawmakers in Rome today, according to an e-mailed text. The measures are needed to help “the Italian economy exit the condition of virtual stagnation of the last 15 years.”
Italy may be in its fourth recession since 2001 after its gross domestic product contracted in the third quarter of last year. On Jan. 20, Prime Minister Mario Monti’s Cabinet approved a package of measures aimed at boosting economic growth and spurring competition by opening up professions and streamlining the country’s bureaucracy.
Italy’s economy has lagged behind the euro-area average in the decade to 2010, growing an average of 0.2 percent annually compared with 1.1 percent in the region. The International Monetary Fund forecast in its World Economic Outlook Update on Jan. 24 that the $2.3 trillion economy will contract 2.2 percent this year and 0.6 percent next.
--Editors: Jeffrey Donovan, Eddie Buckle
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