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MNI (London)
--Warns On Risks of Unwinding Monetary Policy Too Soon
By Silvia Marchetti
     ROME (MNI) - Confindustria, Italy's leading industrial lobby, Thursday
raised its previous country growth forecasts following improvements in the
economic outlook but warned on the downside risks posed by a tightening in
monetary policy at European level. 
     In its Economic Scenarios report, the lobby group raised this year's GDP
forecast to 1.5% from the 1.3% predicted in June, with forecast 2018 growth
upped to 1.3% from 1.1%. The group added that an additional 0.5% of growth is
expected from the new budget law, soon to be cleared by government. 
     Confindustria's brighter predictions are in line with those of the Bank of
Italy and International Monetary Fund , both of whom recently lifted their
country growth forecasts. 
     Italy is no longer the "Cinderella" of Europe, said the report. "The
economy has returned to the same levels prior to the second crisis of
2011-2013". However, the report noted that the country is still 4.7% of GDP
behind levels seen ahead of the 2008 global financial crisis. 
     Confindustria hailed as positive the creation of new jobs, increased
investment and the revival in exports that was helping lead the recovery. 
     The lobby group warned, however, against possible instability risks from
the European Central Bank beginning the unwind of the so-far accommodative
monetary policy too soon, when growth was not yet back on a sustainable path. 
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: les.commons@marketnews.com
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MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 | les.commons@marketnews.com