Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Italy to invest 11 BLN Euros in Infrastructure improvement

The Italian government has announced that it is planning to invest in infrastructure improvements across the country.

The inter-ministerial economic planning committee (CIPE) accepted the Infrastructure investments totaling 11 billion euros. Public Works Minister Altero Matteoli said that given the current difficult situation, the substantial package would give a considerable boost to the economy and help ease unemployment.

The funds will be used for motorway and other road projects, expanding rail systems and high-speed rail service, urban transport and security in schools. Such a move could add to the attractiveness of Italy as a holiday destination and place in which to invest in property.

National statistics bureau Istat reported that Italy's GDP rose 0.5% in the first three months of the year, over the last quarter of 2009, and was 0.6% higher than the first quarter of last year. Istat explained the increase in the first quarter was mainly due to GDP gains for the agriculture, industry and services sectors. Italy’s GDP for 2010 would rise by 0.6% based on the current trend, Istat said.

Meanwhile, The International Monetary Fund predicted that Italy's GDP would rise by 0.8% this year, below its January forecast of a 1% rise. The Italian government has put GDP growth for 2010 at 1%, an increase which Confindustria said was "optimistic at best".