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Report: Italy finalizes 2020 budget for EU review

Italy finalized a draft 2020 budget, which will be reviewed by the EU amid the country's near-record debt level, Bloomberg News reported, citing a statement from the government.

The draft budget excluded a planned sales tax hike and proposed two investment funds and pension reforms. The budget, which also seeks to reduce taxes on labor, comes after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte's government last month pledged to deliver an expansionary budget for 2020.

The European Commission will review the proposal, which should be approved by the Italian parliament before 2019-end.

In July, Rome avoided a budget disciplinary procedure from the bloc following Italy's commitment to a headline deficit of 2.04% of GDP for 2019, lower than the European Commission's previous forecast of a 2.5% shortfall.

Italy's public debt hit 138% of GDP in the second quarter of 2019, marginally below the 138.8% peak seen in the second quarter of 2015, according to Bloomberg News calculations, based on Bank of Italy data.