ROME, April 8 (UPI) -- The International Monetary Fund reported Tuesday Italy’s economy is expected to grow by only 0.6 percent in 2014 and 1.1 percent in 2015. It is a rate worse than that of Greece, and puts Italy among the countries hardest hit by the global economic recession.
The comparison is particularly harsh since Greece is nearly synonymous with economic crisis, and needed a bailout by the Fund in 2013.
The IMF’s World Economic Outlook, revealed Tuesday, indicated Italy’s gross domestic output will gradually rise. It fell by 1.9 percent in 2013.
It also forecast an improvement in its unemployment rate, to as low as 12.4 percent in 2014 and 11.9 percent in 2015. Unemployment in February 2014 hit a 37-year high of 13 percent, Italy’s national statistics agency reported last week.
Greece’s expected growth rate of 2.9 percent in 2015 outpaces Italy’s 1.1 percent, but the unemployment rate in Greece is expected to reach 26. 3 percent this year and 24.4 percent in 2015, double that of Italy.