Italian government indicates willingness to amend budget

MILAN (AP) — Italy's government borrowing costs are easing — a sign of investor relief — after the government indicated it is considering changes to the draft budget rejected by the EU's executive body.

Bond yields dropped Tuesday after Italy's populist leaders said that its focus is "on relaunching growth and development" and that it "wasn't a question of decimals." The statement late Monday showed a willingness to respond to the EU Commission's concerns about a spending plan that would increasing Italy's debt to 2.4 percent of GDP, three times the level agreed by the previous government.

After weeks of resistance, Italy's leaders seem intent on avoiding sanctions and reducing high borrowing costs, which could wipe out the positive impact of any reforms.

The government says it has communicated its willingness to the EU but did not indicate possible amendments.