Italy aims to cut deficit to 2.7 pct of GDP by 2012. Goals now are discipline, debt burden and growth - IMF
WASHINGTON, May 26 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday welcomed Italy's commitment to reduce its fiscal deficit and said containing the public wage bill should be the focus of cost-cutting measures.
As investors and governments fret over the broader effects of Greece's debt crisis, the IMF strongly commended measures adopted by Italy's cabinet late on Tuesday to cut the fiscal deficit to 2.7 percent of gross domestic product by 2012.
Italy's deficit was 5.3 percent of GDP in 2009 -- well below the EU average -- and public debt rose to about 115.8 percent of GDP by the end of 2009, the IMF said. The fiscal deficit is projected at 5.2 percent of GDP in 2010.