Italian business lobbies warn government collapse would hurt economy

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's main business lobbies have warned that the collapse of Enrico Letta's government would have serious consequences for the country's economy which is struggling to emerge from a two-year-long recession.

"A government crisis now would cause very serious damage to Italy and risk plunging the country into a negative spiral, with grave consequences for companies and families," the associations of industrialists, banks, insurers and co-ops said in a joint statement.

Italy was left without a functioning government after center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi on Saturday withdrew the five ministers from his People of Freedom party (PDL) from the government.

(Reporting By Gavin Jones)