The Italian economy grew by 1.9% last year, the Italian statistics institute Istat reported on March 2.
Istat put the public deficit at 4.4% of gross domestic product which is far higher than the ceiling of 3% under the eurozone Stability and Growth Pact for public finances. However, the public deficit was 2.4% of GDP if some exceptional items were excluded from the calculation. One of these was repayment by the government of reductions in sales tax applicable to company vehicles, as required under a ruling by the European Court of Justice.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007