The International Monetary Fund is predicting that Italy will miss its budget deficit targets this year and next and will not balance its budget until at least 2018 - some five years later than government estimates.
In a report, the IMF said Italy would trim its budget deficit only to 1.5% of its output next year. Premier Mario Monti has promised to balance the budget by 2013, a centrepiece of his efforts to steer Italy out of its debt crisis.
The IMF however predicted that Italy would still carry a 1.1% deficit in 2017, the last year for which it made estimates.
Italy is due to publish its own revised economic figures on Wednesday.