Slowdown in Italian economy has ended: Economy Minister

Recent data show that the slowdown in the Italian economy has ended, Italy's Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said in an interview published on Tuesday.

Italy's economy, the most sluggish in the euro zone for more than a decade, has not posted a single quarter of growth in the last three years.

Eric Piermont | AFP | Getty Images

"After three years of recession ... employment is starting to grow again," Padoan told the Corriere della Sera newspaper, adding that would boost consumer and business confidence and kick-start growth in the euro zone's third-largest economy.

The government is forecasting economic output will fall 0.3 percent this year, before rising a meager 0.6 percent in 2015.

The minister said the government would approve a package of measures in January to boost investment.

These would include fiscal measures to support small companies, efforts to help non-financial entities like insurers give credit directly to companies, moves to reduce regulatory risk for foreign investors in Italy, and encouraging private investment in cultural activities, Padoan said.

He also said Italy would avoid being put under budget surveillance by the European Commission and that its public debt, proportionately the second highest in the euro zone after Greece's, would start to fall in 2016.

Italy will go ahead next year with stalled plans to sell state-owned companies and public real estate assets, aiming to raise funds and cut its debt, Padoan said.

The treasury will put on the block post office group Poste Italiane, air traffic control operator Enav, a minority stake in utility Enel, and is working on privatizing state railway operator Ferrovie, Padoan said.

Italy's government postponed the sale of these companies this year because of volatility on financial markets and delays in preparing wholly state-owned companies for listing.