The Bank of Italy has published a spring bulletin which paints a gloomy picture of the state of the Italian economy. The number of people in full time work has fallen for the first time in ten years by 0.4 per cent; although the total number of people in work has increased, it is only thanks to part time workers, and one in four young people between the age of 15 and 29 who are in employment only have a temporary contract. Public debt has risen 2.6 points when measured against GNP to 106,4 per cent, the highest rise since 1994. Competitiveness in Italy has fallen by 30 per cent between 2001 and 2004, causing a fall in industrial production. The increase in public spending of 3.1 per cent compared to 2004 worries the Bank of Italy which fears that Italy will be unable to meet its commitment to the European Union to contain the increase in public spending to 1 per cent in 2006. Italian families are borrowing almost twice as much as they did in 1996.
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