(Bloomberg) -- Italy’s growth rebound in 2021 was confirmed as bigger than initially estimated, narrowing the deficit and creating some fiscal space for Premier Giorgia Meloni’s upcoming budget targets.
Gross domestic product rose 8.3% that year as the euro zone’s third-biggest economy sprang back from the pandemic, compared with a prior measurement of 7%, the country’s statistics agency said on Friday.
That narrowed the 2021 deficit to 8.8% from 9% previously estimated. The calculation shaved off almost three percentage points from the debt-to-GDP ratio for both that year and 2022.
The reassessment reflects the inclusion of new data to improve measurement of output for the exceptionally volatile period when Covid-19 shuttered economies before a rebound took hold. Both Spain and the UK have revised up output for prior years in recent weeks.
The changes give a little more space to Meloni’s coalition as it tries to lower its shortfall toward the European Union’s 3%-of-GDP limit, which will be reinstated as a rule next year.
While the revision will help contain the deficit, it doesn’t put extra money in the government’s coffers, statistics officials insisted.
The coalition’s task has been hindered by slower economic growth and accounting changes due to the so-called superbonus home renovation program which raised the prospect of markedly worse deficit numbers.
The numerical increase in gross domestic product for 2021 could mean that Meloni’s coalition has roughly €3 billion ($3.2 billion) more fiscal space available, according to Bloomberg calculations released earlier this week. That would be the same amount she is insisting on reaping from a new tax on bank profits.
(Updates with comment from statistics officials in sixth paragraph)
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