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Italy to miss budget aims, says IMF

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.

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