ROME. The lockdown has created a great fear in families, so much so that in the second quarter of this year, reports the Bank of Italy, the propensity to save of Italians rose to 18.6%, a level more than double compared to 2019. But the problem is that even after the confinement ends, the situation hasn’t changed. In short, the Italians, due to Covid and everything that followed it (from the 5.6% drop in income to the loss of jobs, which mainly affected young people and women) have become more “ants”. This is both for “precautionary reasons” and for “the persistence of the risk of contagion, which can discourage or prevent certain types of consumption, especially related to tourism and recreational activities” reports the Economic Bulletin released yesterday by Via Nazionale.
From the update of the extraordinary survey on Italian families carried out between August and September, it emerges that a second wave of pandemic will significantly slow down consumption again: about a third of families (percentage that rises to 47% among those in economic difficulty) would reduce purchases in grocery stores and other essential goods if the daily infections in their region were more than 1,000 and would no longer spend on hotels, bars and restaurants even in a much more favorable epidemiological situation (less than 10 daily infections).
From a survey carried out on a sample of 4500 companies, it turns out that over 40% of companies say that this year their investments will be lower than expected: for about half of these, spending will be more than a quarter lower than the plans initial while less than one in two will make the planned investments.
The uncertainty that reigns both in Italy and globally, despite the efforts of monetary authorities and governments, risks having dominance over everything else. And this despite the fact that the general conditions of families in recent times have progressively improved and the extensive use of social safety nets has stemmed the loss of jobs.
Moreover, despite a rebound “beyond the estimates” of GDP in the third quarter (+12.5%, thanks above all to the +30 recorded by industrial production), 2020 will close with a loss of domestic product equal to 10%. that for the governor Ignazio Visco the return to pre-Covid levels “could take place not before a couple of years”.
Fast and quality interventions
In this context, the role of the government, which after yet another night summit could launch a new 40 billion maneuver, once again entirely anti-Covid, becomes decisive. According to Bank of Italy, “the expansionary measures” implemented to date with an allocation of around 100 billion “provide the economy with a considerable macroeconomic boost” and their order of magnitude “is consistent with a composition of interventions in which they have ample public investment space. To obtain full benefits – underlines via Nazionale – it is essential to strive to speed up implementation times and ensure the quality of the interventions “.