ROME, March 1 Italy posted a state sector budget
deficit of 12.5 billion euros in February 2013, up from a
deficit of 7.973 billion in the same month in 2012, partially
because of the underwriting of a state bailout for troubled
lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the Treasury said on
The Treasury did not include figures for the cumulative
state sector borrowing requirement over the first two months of
The state sector borrowing requirement (SSBR), a measure of
the gap between central government spending and income, differs
from the broader "general government" accounts, which the
European Union Stability and Growth Pact refers to when
assessing countries' deficit performances.
The Tuscan bank Monte dei Paschi received a four
billion euro bailout this week after failing to meet tougher
capital requirements set by European regulators. This impacted
for roughly 2 billion on the Ferbuary borrowing requirement.
Italy's fiscal deficit fell to 3.0 percent of gross domestic
product last year, bang on the European Union's 3 percent
ceiling, data showed on Friday, which may allow Rome to leave
the European Commission's excessive deficit procedure imposing
corrective measures on countries that exceed the level.
The SSBR narrowed in 2012 in a year in which the technocrat
government of Mario Monti cut spending and raised taxes to reign
in the deficit.
(Reporting by Naomi O'Leary; editing by Francesca Landini)