Bonds News

Italy hikes 2016 deficit-GDP target to 2.4 pct from 2.2 pct

ROME, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Italy is raising its target for the 2016 budget deficit to 2.4 percent of gross domestic product from the 2.2 percent goal which it sent to the European Commission two months ago, Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said on Thursday.

Padoan made the formal announcement to parliament on Thursday after Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had already said Italy planned to spend more on security and culture following the November attacks by jihadist militants in Paris.

In its Stability Program presented in October, which parliament must approve by the end of the year, Italy raised the 2016 target to 2.2 percent from 1.8 percent previously.

The European Union said that program risked breaking EU budget rules and it reserved a definitive judgment until the spring of 2016. It will now have to assess the additional increase in the target to 2.4 percent.

Reporting By Gavin Jones