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How Exposed to Italy Are Index Funds?

Jose Garcia-Zarate (jose.garciazarate@morningstar.com)

Italy's budgetary plans for the 2019 fiscal year have unnerved financial markets. The Lega/Five Star Movement governing coalition, which came into power with the promise of a comprehensive program of extra public expenditure, has approved a substantial upward revision to the 2019 budget deficit target to 2.4% of gross domestic product: 3 times higher than the 0.8% figure agreed by the previous administration with the European Commission. The spread between German and Italian bonds has widened but, crucially, so has that between Spain and Italy (see Exhibit 1).