BORROWING COSTS RISE: Italy's borrowing costs jumped on Thursday, a symptom of market fears the country may follow Spain in needing foreign financial aid.
THE DETAILS: Italy paid 5.3 percent to raise €3 billion ($3.76 billion) in three-year notes, up from 3.91 percent last month and the highest level since December. The rate underscores that investors are increasingly wary of lending to the country which is in a deep recession and its debt increases.
THE OUTLOOK: Italy's overall debt is a high of €1.948 trillion ($2.4 trillion) in April, a level requiring frequent market access to repay investors whose bonds are expiring. To lower that debt, the economy needs to become more competitive.