ROME, April 18 (UPI) -- Italian Premier Mario Monti said Wednesday the country's economy is on target to grow in 2013, though the International Monetary Fund has predicted a decrease.
Monti said not only will the recession-hit Italian economy grow, but he expects the country to be "close" to balancing its budget by next year as part of the National Reform Plan, ANSA reported.
"In last summer's grave financial emergency the previous government (of Silvio Berlusconi) had to, and wanted to accept the goal of balancing the public accounts in 2013," Monti said at a press conference after his Cabinet approved the National Reform Plan to boost long-term growth. "It's an ambitious target that we made realistic with the efforts and sacrifices demanded from the public."
He said Italy would not require any more austerity measures to help reach a balanced budget in 2013.
The IMF released a report Tuesday forecasting the Italian economy would shrink by 0.3 percent next year, ANSA said.