Correspondent, Rome, Italy
Catherine's Feed
Oct 10, 2012

Italy industry output unexpectedly rises in August

ROME (Reuters) – Italian industrial output unexpectedly rose in August, offering some hope that recession may be easing slightly although the statistics bureau cautioned that seasonal factors may have distorted the data.

Output rose 1.7 percent month-on-month after an upwardly revised 0.1 percent fall in July. The figure beat all forecasts in a Reuters poll that had spanned -1.4 percent and +1.6 percent and averaged -0.4 percent.

Oct 9, 2012

One in eight of world population going hungry :UN

ROME (Reuters) – One out of every eight people in the world is chronically undernourished, the United Nations’ food agencies said on Tuesday, warning that progress to reduce hunger has slowed since 2007/08 when high food prices sparked riots in several poor countries.

In their latest report on food insecurity, the UN agencies estimated that 868 million people were suffering hunger in 2010-2012, or about 12.5 percent of the world’s population, down more sharply than previously estimated from about 1 billion, or 18.6 percent in 1990-92.

Oct 4, 2012

World food prices rise, stay close to crisis levels: U.N.

ROME (Reuters) – World food prices rose in September and are seen remaining close to levels reached during the 2008 food crisis, the United Nations’ food agency said on Thursday, while cutting its forecast for global cereal output.

The worst drought in more than 50 years in the United States sent corn and soybean prices to record highs over the summer, and, coupled with drought in Russia and other Black Sea exporting countries, raised fears of a renewed crisis.

Oct 4, 2012

World food prices rise, stay close to crisis levels-FAO

ROME, Oct 4 (Reuters) – World food prices rose in September
and are seen remaining close to levels reached during the 2008
food crisis, the United Nations’ food agency said on Thursday,
while cutting its forecast for global cereal output.

The worst drought in more than 50 years in the United States
sent corn and soybean prices to record highs over the summer,
and, coupled with drought in Russia and other Black Sea
exporting countries, raised fears of a renewed crisis.

Sep 25, 2012

Austerity in the dock as Europe’s debt-stricken leaders meet

(Reuters) – The leaders of countries at the center of the euro zone debt crisis met in Rome on Friday after steep upward revisions to Italy’s public debt targets raised growing doubts about the austerity policies being pursued.

“Prime Minister Monti has been very pragmatic in what he set out here, clearly he has raised the question of the extent of austerity which can be applied in Italy,” Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny told reporters when asked about Italy’s new targets.

Jul 24, 2012

Italy minister: Justice reforms to halve trial times

ROME, July 24 (Reuters) – Justice Minister Paola Severino
expects reforms introduced by Italy’s technocrat government will
cut the average length of a civil trial in half, helping tackle
the judicial inefficiency that clogs the country’s chronically
weak economy.

The reforms, which include a “filter” to cut the number of
civil cases allowed to move to on the appeals level, and which
set up specialist business tribunals, will bring the length of
trials more in line with the European average, she said.

Jul 20, 2012

Monti says Italy must manage crisis without EU aid

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti says the country should try to get through the financial crisis, which has sent its borrowing costs spiralling, without the help of bailouts from its European partners.

The euro zone’s third-largest economy is on the right track to meet targets to rein in the public deficit this year and next, Monti said on Friday, but he urged lawmakers to keep up the pace of reforms to ensure the country can solve its problems on its own.

Jul 11, 2012

Farm prices on upward trend in next decade: FAO, OECD

ROME (Reuters) – World farm commodity prices will edge higher in the next decade, and oilseeds are set to outperform wheat and other cereals, both trends fuelled by demand in emerging economies, the OECD said on Wednesday, presenting a joint report with the UN’s food agency.

Prices have eased from record highs hit in February last year and have stabilised as farmers boost output, but burgeoning demand for food, feed and fuel will keep prices firmly underpinned in coming years, the two bodies said.

Jul 11, 2012

Italy, Spain dangers must be tackled fast: OECD head

ROME (Reuters) – High borrowing costs are dangerous for Italy and Spain and the EU must tackle them quickly by establishing a system that supports countries which are making reforms, OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria said in an interview on Wednesday.

Gurria said the European Stability Mechanism rescue fund, or ESM, needed to become operational as soon as possible so it could start intervening on bond markets, and that it should be strengthened to send a clear signal to markets.

Jul 11, 2012

Farm prices to rise over next decade: FAO/OECD

ROME (Reuters) – World farm commodity prices will keep rising in the next decade, and oilseeds are set to outperform wheat and other cereals, both trends fuelled by strong demand in emerging economies, the OECD said on Wednesday in a joint report with the UN’s food agency.

High income growth in developing countries will boost global demand for food and fuel, while stocks and output growth will struggle to keep up, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Food and Agriculture Organisation said.