March 26, 2020 / 3:08 PM / 5 days ago

Italy's debt-to-GDP could easily top 145% - Scope ratings

LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) - The crippling economic costs of the coronavirus could easily push Italy’s debt-to-GDP ratio over 145%, credit rating agency Scope warned on Thursday, as worries about a possible rating downgrade of Europe’s fourth largest economy continued.

Italy already has one of largest debt piles of any major economy and Germany-based Scope said it now expected a budget deficit of over 6% of GDP this year.

“Italy’s debt ratio could easily breach a 145% of GDP threshold within the next year,” one of the firm’s analysts said in a report published by the firm.

“The much increased 2020 deficit accounts for an increase in Italy’s cyclical deficit alongside 50 billion euros in ‘shock therapy’ fiscal support actions that alone raise the deficit by over 2% of GDP.” (Reporting by Marc Jones, Editing by Abhinav Ramnarayan)

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