Rome

Italy vows to make reform commitments after OECD warnings

'Country avoided worst-case scenario' says government

Italy vows to make reform commitments after OECD warnings

Rome, November 27 - The Italian government on Tuesday called an OECD economic outlook report "positive" and vowed to see its reforms were implemented after the Paris-based agency warned of the need for further austerity measures if they were not. "The government takes note of the positive assessment of the OECD, in particular with regard to fiscal consolidation, the effects of reforms and the confirmation that Italy will reach a balanced budget in structural terms in 2013 and 2014, as this government had committed to do, and as required by the EU," said a statement. Earlier Tuesday the OECD praised the structural economic reforms Monti's government has introduced but stressed that they "must be fully and consistently implemented if they are to produce results". It also revised down its growth forecasts for Italy for this year and next and it warned that additional budget tightening may be needed in 2014. The OECD said it expected Italy's gross domestic product to fall 2.2% this year and 1% in 2013, compared to May forecasts of contractions of 1.7% and 0.4% respectively. In response, the government said that it had thus far "been able to avoid the worst-case scenario", and that the job market in Italy remains "remarkably resilient" despite rising unemployment, which is due mostly to more people joining the job market, particularly women.

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