ROME - The Italian cabinet on Monday set the deficit target at 2.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) for next year, a slight increase from a previous forecast of 2.1 percent.

The adjustment was announced following a meeting in which Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte's cabinet passed the annual update to the Economic and Financial Document, a blueprint providing the latest public finance goals ahead of the approval of the 2020 budget plan.

"We have put the deficit at 2.2 percent (next year), which means an expansionary maneuver worth about 0.8 percentage points of GDP," Economy and Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri told a press conference after the meeting.

Gualtieri also anticipated that the 2020 budget plan, which has to be approved by the end of the year, will be worth about 29 billion euros (31.6 billion U.S. dollars).

In a statement, the cabinet also specified that the country's GDP was predicted to grow by 0.6 percent next year.

The government also targeted the country's deficit at 1.8 percent in 2021 and at 1.4 percent in 2022.

Italy's debt-to-GDP ratio was expected to be at 135.2 percent in 2020, 133.4 percent in 2021, and 131.4 percent in 2022.

The Italian debt was currently estimated at 135.7 percent by the end of 2019, the second largest in the European Union after that of Greece.(FA)