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Italian central bank sets countercyclical buffer rate at zero percent

TheBanca D'Italia saidMarch 25 that it decided to set the countercyclical capital buffer rate at zeropercent as of April 1.

The Italiancentral bank said the decision was made in light of the deviation of the bankcredit-to-GDP ratio by about negative 7 percentage points from its long-termtrend in the fourth quarter of 2015. The ratio stood at 86.8% at the end ofDecember 2015.

Itadded that the Italian economy's macrofinancial conditions are improving butremain generally weak, and it said growth in bank credit to the private sectorhas turned positive again but that business lending continues to decline.