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Italy's public debt hits new high

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-03-16 05:19

ROME - Italy's public debt hit a new record high of over 2 trillion euros in January, the Italy's central bank said on Friday.

Italy's public debt has reached 2.0227 billion euros (2.64 trillion U.S. dollars) in January, 34 billion up from December, which includes 43 billion euros given by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the central bank said.

Meanwhile, the central bank said tax revenues in January rose by 0.8 percent, or about 200 million euros compared to the same period last year.

The debt rose last year from around 120 percent to 127 percent of Italy's gross domestic product (GDP), according to the national statistic institute, despite of the government's austerity plan.  At the end of last year, the debt was reduced below 2 trillion for the first time in more than a year, to 1.988 trillion euros.

Fitch rating agency last week cut Italy's credit rating from A- to BBB+, with a negative outlook due to the "inconclusive result" of last month's national election, with an estimate that Italy's debt-to-GDP ratio will rise to 130 percent in 2013, after which Italy's borrowing costs rose on Wednesday's bond selling.

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