Italian economic growth was probably strong in the second quarter but it could end or slow sharply in coming months, Economy Minister Daniele Franco said on Friday.

Addressing a gathering of bankers in Rome, Franco also said Italian inflation, which stood at 8.5% in June, is unlikely to come down in the near term.

"We estimate there was robust growth in the quarter that has just ended," Franco said.

He added, however, that with recessionary risks now rising around the euro zone, "there is certainly a risk that growth will end or slow sharply in the second half of the year."

(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Gavin Jones)