ROME, April 20 Italian Economy Minister Pier
Carlo Padoan said in interview published on Sunday he believed
that growth in 2014 could be more than 0.8 percent but that he
could not say by how much.
In the interview in the Corriere della Sera, Padoan was
asked if growth could come in more than the 0.8 percent forecast
earlier this month in the government's so-called Economic and
Financial Document (DEF) containing new targets for coming
"I really think so, even though one cannot estimate by how
much," he was quoted as saying.
Italy's economy, the euro zone's third-biggest, shrank in
2012 and 2013, and returned to growth on a quarterly basis for
the first time in more than two years during the final three
months of last year.
A consensus of 20 economists polled by Reuters earlier this
month predicted gross domestic product (GDP) will rise only 0.6
percent in 2014.
Padoan also said that he believed the government's decision
to lower taxes by about 80 euros a month for low earners
starting next month should be made permanent in order to have
"If it is not permanent, it will not be credible and the
money won't be spent," he was quoted as saying.
(Reporting By Philip Pullella; editing by Jon Boyle)