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Italy's economic recovery losing momentum, business group says
Date: 2010/9/20 Click: 1020
The economic recovery is losing momentum in Italy, according to a report released by the Italian industrial employers association Confindustria on Thursday.

The report said performance of the economy "is the worst" among industrial countries and what is needed is "a crack of the whip" on reform to "resolve structural problems."
The slowdown of the recovery forced Condindustria to downsize its economic growth forecast for next year with GDP now expected to rise by 1.3 percent, compared to its previous prediction of 1.6 percent, the report added.

But Confindustria confirmed its GDP growth forecast for this year at 1.2 percent.

The Italian economy, the report said, will not return to its level of 2007, before the global meltdown in 2008 and subsequent recession, until 2013.

According to the report, 450,000 jobs were already lost by the middle of the year and a further 30,000 positions were at risk in the second half of the year.

Confindustria also predicted that the unemployment rate will climb to 9.3 percent by the end of 2011, from 8.4 percent at the end of July.

The association said in the report that Italy's black or underground economy "rose sharply" in 2009 and was now worth 20 percent of Italy's GDP, 27 percent when excluding the public sector, and was double that in the southern Italy.

This translated into lost tax revenue "far greater than the 125 billion euros we calculated last June," Confindustria said.

It said tax pressure in Italy had risen significantly and was currently "much more" than the 54 percent its study center indicated in 2009, the 51.4 percent indicated in its June report and the 'official' 43.2 percent rate.
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