The Summary of the First Advisory Board of 2019 WPP/The European House – Ambrosetti, Milan, April 18, 2019.
What are the prospects for Italy?
2017 was a positive year. The growth rate in Italy was 1.5%, the highest since 2010, and employment was at an all-time high of 23.1 million, although the overall unemployment rate remained at 11.2%.
The rules and models we have used until now to analyze the economy no longer seem to be very relevant, if at all. The technological revolution underway, the processes of digitalization and automation, an aging population, changes in consumption patterns and increased trend towards globalization could have modified, even substantially, the economic paradigm with which we were familiar.
In some areas, such as Italy, the promotion of a culture aimed at sustainability and prevention of natural and climatic risk finds the perfect terrain. In fact, on a global level, Italy is only behind China, Japan and the countries of Central and South America in terms of environmental risk.
We are improving and growing more than yesterday. And this is positive. But compared with other European countries, remaining behind and growing less than others means continuing to drop behind, even within a growth context.
The sentiment indicators of The European House – Ambrosetti Club regarding the current economic situation and prospects for the job market indicate a slight deterioration, and confirm that the Italian economy is not actually able to accelerate or, at least, keep up with the other economies in the Eurozone.
Also in these first 3 months, as in the last quarter of 2016, the overall picture is characterized by high levels of uncertainty on the economic and geo-political front. It’s an uncertainty that has become the “new normality” as many businessmen and top managements of large Italian companies have informed us in these months.
The 15th Ambrosetti Club Economic Indicator survey is now available. Since the last survey in September, many things have changed on the international and national scene.
The GDP figures for the second quarter have set off alarm bells, highlighting how action must be taken immediately on structural aspects of the economy to foster growth in productivity and competitiveness.
Italy has unquestionably inverted the trend, but too slowly, and we are still very far from a return to a growth path which, over a reasonable timeframe, could return us to pre-crisis levels.