(ANSA) - Rome, September 20 - The Italian government on Thursday said the economy would not pick up next year as it had foreseen in earlier forecasts this year. It also confirmed a goal of a "structurally" balanced budget in 2013 - meaning a deficit of 0.5% of GDP - despite a worse-than-expected recession and the impact of unforeseen natural disasters like the devastating earthquakes that hit Emilia Romagna. In the new forecasts, the economy will contract by 2.4% this year and 0.2% in 2013. Forecasts from international organisations have been more pessimistic.
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di Angelo Biscardi