The FT today reports on the latest speech from Mario Draghi, governor of Italy’s central bank, and , as the FT says: "he bluntly told the nation’s politicians to stop interfering in the Italian banking sector".
More importantly he stressed that:
the Prodi government must lower taxes, cut public spending and reform the pension system in order to reduce Italy’s crushingly high public debt.
I entirely agree, but since we have just had a bout of tax increases rather than decreases, it is hard for me to believe that he will be listened to very enthusiastically. Meantime, as I post elsewhere, the eurozone economy seems to be slowing slightly, this is not good news for Italy.
There are other signs that the euro-region expansion may be cooling. Export growth slowed to 0.3 percent in the first quarter after 3.5 percent in the last quarter of 2006. Retail sales in the euro area fell for the first month in three in May and French business confidence declined.
In manufacturing, new orders gained at the slowest pace since November 2005, with the index reading 55.4 after 55.8 in April, today's report said. Output growth slipped to 56.1 from 56.9, the least since February 2006.
Italy Economy Real Time Data Charts
Edward Hugh is only able to update this blog from time to time, but he does run a lively Twitter account with plenty of Italy related comment. He also maintains a collection of constantly updated Italy economy charts together with short text updates on a Storify dedicated page Italy - Lost in Stagnation?