European Markets

Italy's business lobby sees economic growth at 6.4% in 2021

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ROME, Nov 27 (Reuters) - The Italian economy may grow at a rate slightly faster than the government target of 6% this year, returning to the pre-pandemic level in the first quarter of 2022, the country's business lobby Confindustria said on Saturday.

It forecast a rise of 6.3%-6.4% in gross domestic product (GDP)in 2021, exceeding the target set by the government in September and in line with the economy minister's latest estimate.

The industry association said the growth rate could be achieved despite the current scarcity of raw materials and semi-finished products, and a resurgence of infections, all of which were slowing down growth in the last months of the year.

Last year the economy contracted as much as 8.9% due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the steepest recession in Italy's post-war history.

The turnaround this year has been fuelled by consumption, and household spending is likely to continue from savings accumulated during the lockdowns in 2020, Confindustria said.

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Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni; editing by Clelia Oziel

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