ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s 2020 growth forecast may be revised down if there is a significant impact from the coronavirus outbreak, Italy’s Economy Minister said on Wednesday.
“The 0.6% (GDP growth for 2020) could be revised down if the coronavirus will have a significant impact and if there is a stronger than expected drag effect of the 2019 GDP decline over the current year,” Roberto Gualtieri said on Wednesday in a interview with Radio Capital.
Earlier this month Bank of Italy’s governor Ignazio Visco said the virus could have a temporary negative effect on growth of “a few decimal of a percentage point”, but that a more significant impact could not be ruled out.
Italy’s economy – the euro zone’s third largest – unexpectedly contracted by 0.3% between October and December.
The parliamentary budget watchdog (UPB) said last week it expects GDP to grow just 0.2% in 2020, far below its previous 0.5% forecast and the 0.6% rate officially targeted by the government in September.
(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Giselda Vagnoni)