Big European Italy grew more than pre-Covid

Despite the slowdown recorded in the last six months following a very difficult international economic situation, Italy has overcome the negative effects caused by the pandemic crisis, high energy prices and the exponential growth recorded in interest rates better than its main European competitors. This is what emerges from an analysis by the Cgia Research Office of Mestre which recalls that between 2019 (pre-Covid year) and 2023, Italy recorded a change in GDP of +3 percent, against +2, 3 in Spain, +1.8 in France and +0.7 in Germany.

Among the 20 euro area countries, the demographically smallest ones recorded the highest growth. Compared to the pre-Covid period, in fact, Ireland grew by 33.1 percent, Malta by 14.4, Cyprus by 14.2, Croatia by 13.4, Lithuania by 8.3 and Slovenia by 7.7. By contrast, the most important countries recorded significantly lower changes. The European average was +3.5 percent. In 2023, our country’s growth forecast should be +0.7 percent, a figure significantly lower than the +2.4 estimated for Spain and slightly lower than the +1 for France. Germany, however, with a change of -0.3 percent compared to 2022, remains in recession.

At a territorial level, the region that has overcome the crises that have hit the country in the last 4 years better than the others has been Lombardy which, compared to 2019, grew by 5.3 percent. Followed by Emilia Romagna with +4.9 percent, Puglia with +3.9, Friuli Venezia Giulia with +3.5, Trentino Alto Adige with +3.4 and Veneto with + 3.3. Among the 20 regions in Italy, only Liguria and Tuscany have not yet recovered the ground lost with Covid and the subsequent crises. The former still has to recover 0.8 points of GDP compared to 2019, the latter even two.

Lombardy and Veneto will be driving the country’s economy in 2023. In these two regions the GDP is destined to grow by 0.9 percent compared to 2022. Followed by Friuli Venezia Giulia, Trentino Alto Adige and Lazio all with +0.8 percent. Immediately afterwards we see Emilia Romagna, Valle d’Aosta, Piedmont and Tuscany which are expected to grow by +0.7 percent. At the bottom of the ranking are Basilicata and Marche which will record an increase in gross domestic product compared to last year of +0.3%. Tourism, manufacturing, household consumption, investments and exports supported this recovery: a positive trend which last October pushed the employment rate to reach 61.8 percent with a record of almost 23.7 million workers.

The CGIA invites us to avoid ‘triumphalism’ by recalling problems such as “poverty, female unemployment, illegal work, taxes, bureaucracy, tax evasion, inefficiency of the Public Administration and public debt” which are the main points of weakness that have been holding back growth for at least 20 years of our country. Yet despite the economic damage linked to the pandemic “the economic/social measures implemented by the latest executives to mitigate these difficulties have had the desired effect” avoiding “a social crisis and guaranteed a recovery of the economy that no one predicted. Or almost” .

The association recalls that “between non-repayable contributions, compensation, compensation, income support measures, tax credits, etc., between 2020 and 2022 the Conte 2 and Draghi governments made 180 billion euros available to families and businesses. To mitigate the high bills, however, the Draghi and Meloni governments have provided another 90 billion euros in aid. Overall, therefore, over 270 billion have been allocated which have “anesthetized” the negative effects caused by the pandemic and high energy costs.”

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