“Either he was informed about this, or the prime minister knows how serious the situation is, so much so that he doesn’t need official data to understand that we are in a recession,” member of the opposition Democratic Party Luigi Marattin and adviser to Ex-Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said interview.
Office Conte said in a text message that he did not see the data in advance. A spokesman for the statistical office said no one had any leaks.
Conte will not be the first to let the cat out of the bag early.
In June, US President Donald Trump tweeted job data just a few hours before they were published. Since the president’s economic team is receiving embargoed numbers a day before the release of the report, his optimism was the driving force of the market. More than a decade ago, the National Statistics Office of the United Kingdom reprimanded Prime Minister Tony Blair for mentioning unemployment figures before they were officially published.
The government has so far dismissed fears that the country is heading for a recession, adding that the key measures contained in their budget will help stimulate the economy this year. Last week, Conte said in an interview with Bloomberg in Davos, Switzerland, that he expects GDP to grow by 1.5 percent this year, and ruled out the need to adjust the budget to achieve the targets.
Both the Bank of Italy and the International Monetary Fund recently announced that they expect Italy to grow this year at 0.6%.
Conte said the slowdown in growth is “not our fault” and is associated with a general slowdown in other countries, including Germany and China.