From the preliminary estimates for the first three quarters of the year, 2019 would seem headed towards 0 growth.
For the first time after 14 quarters of consecutive growth, Italy’s economy has contracted for two consecutive quarters: this means that the country is officially experiencing a recession.
The good news is that Italy continues to grow. The bad news is that it is doing so at an inexorably slow pace.
The first quarter of 2018 was characterized by a general continuation of the growth registered during 2017. There is growth and it remains stable, but its intensity is declining, causing clouds to gather on the horizon.
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.
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.