ROME, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Italy's gross domestic product (GDP) will fall this year by at least 2.4 percent, head of the country's industrial association Confindustria said on Thursday.
At best, in 2012 the Italian economy would shrink by 2.4 percent, and "probably something more," Giorgio Squinzi was quoted as saying by local media.
"I can hardly see improvements in the second half of the year," said the head of the influential association.
The Confindustria research center predicted a GDP drop of 0.3 percent in 2013.
Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco said Wednesday that the country's economy was expected to decline by nearly 2 percent this year, worse than the government's latest estimation of 1.2 percent.
In Squinzi's view, a serious commitment of the government to reduce public spending would be necessary in the recession-hit country whose public debt currently accounts for 120 percent of GDP.
On Thursday, Italy sold 7.5 billion euros (9.1 billion U.S. dollars) of one-year treasury bills at 2.697 percent, down from 3.972 percent at the last sale of similar-maturity debt in June.