Thursday, 05 July 2012 11:24
ROME. — Italy’s deficit rose to 8,0 percent of gross domestic product in the first quarter of this year due to lower tax revenues and higher interest payments on debt, official data showed yesterday.
The deficit in the first quarter of 2011 had been 7,0 percent of GDP, the Istat data agency said in a statement.
It was Italy’s worst quarterly result since the 9,5 percent reached in the first quarter of 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis.
“The results of the first quarter 2012 were affected by increased spending on interest due to the increase in borrowing costs in 2011 and by the lower tax returns because of the negative development of the economy,” it said.
Quarterly deficit figures in Italy are based on gross data and therefore vary widely from quarter to quarter.
Istat also said that the primary surplus excluding interest payments on debt of 2,6 percent registered in the last quarter of 2011 had become a primary deficit of 3,0 percent in the first quarter of this year.
Italy is planning to bring the overall deficit down to 1,3 percent of GDP this year, compared to a result of 3,9 percent in 2011. It is planning to lower the deficit further to 0,5 percent of GDP next year. — AFP.