Italy's public budget deficit narrowed in the fourth quarter of last year to 5.5% of gross domestic product, compared with 6.7% in the same period of 2022, official statistics agency ISTAT said on Friday.

Revenues rose by 7.9% year-on-year, outstripping a 5.4% increase in public spending.

ISTAT confirmed that over the whole of 2023 the deficit came in at 7.2% of GDP, down from 8.6% in 2022.

This full-year data was already issued by the statistics institute on March 1.

Giorgia Meloni's government is officially targeting the 2024 deficit to fall sharply to 4.3% of GDP.

It is due to update that forecast , but Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti said last month the goal will not be significantly revised. ISTAT gave the following quarterly public finance data. All figures are expressed as a percent of gross domestic product.



Public balance Revenues Spending Primary Balance* Q4 2023 -5.5 56.8 62.3 -1.5 Q4 2022 -6.7 54.9 61.6 -1.9

*Public balance net of debt servicing costs.

(Reporting by Gavin Jones,