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    Moody’s: Italy’s prospects are uncertain without Draghi

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    ECB, shadows on growth.  Recession warning from London (ANSA)

    Before it was just clouds on the horizon, now the dreaded slowdown in the economy is throwing its first thunderbolts. For the second month in a row, industrial production in Italy retreated, falling by 2.1% in June, after falling by 1.1% in May. Over the quarter, however, it continues to grow for the time being, but the coming months are fraught with uncertainty. Moody’s also sees clouds: confirming Italy’s Baa3 rating, the agency downgrades the outlook to ‘negative’ from ‘stable’. And he warns: on Italy there are “material risks on the growth prospects linked to the execution of the NRP and energy supplies”. Noting the progress made recently on the public finances front, Moody’s notes that “the end of the Draghi government and early elections on September 25, 2022 increase political uncertainty”. Particular emphasis is placed on the risks associated with the implementation of the NRP: if the objectives are not met, Italy could “remain more exposed to investor confidence at a time when the government needs investors to play a greater role” in debt Italian. Moody’s “does not believe that the ICB” recently announced by the ECB “will be a panacea against rising yields in all circumstances”. But the Mef is not there and defines the downward revision as “questionable”, explaining that the numbers of the Italian economy, as shown by the more than positive data on GDP in the second quarter, are good and that “the early elections do not constitute a anomaly in the context of European democracies “. However, the government remains “confident” about the implementation of the NRP. “In the monthly note on the Italian economy, Istat also recalled the” decisive acceleration “of GDP in the second quarter, but warned of the” possible decline in manufacturing activity “in the coming months. Inflation continues to weigh on prospects: in July the expectations of consumers and businesses remain characterized by” uncertainty and caution “. The situation is difficult globally:” Signs of a deceleration of economic activity and high and widespread inflation continue to distinguish the international scenario “, explains the statistical institute according to which the evolution of the economic situation is endangered by the increase in the trade deficit, by the spread of inflation and by the marked worsening of consumer confidence. In Europe, the risks have already materialized: “The European outlook appears to be progressively worsening”, explains the ‘Istat, recalling that the ESI economic confidence index from the European Commission touched a minimum since February 2021 and was one point below the long-term average. In Italy, on the GDP front, the picture in these first six months has gone better than expected. In the second quarter, Istat recalls, it marked a marked acceleration compared to the previous three months (+ 1%), leading to an acquired growth of 3.4% for 2022, higher than the recent estimates of the IMF (3%). The growth in economic activity between April and June was also reflected in the labor market, which brought the employment rate to its maximum value since 1977 (60.1%), causing inactive and unemployed to fall. But now it is industrial production that is raising the alarm. The negative trend in May extended over June and extended to almost all sectors, with the exception of the energy sector (+ 1.9%). Production falls for capital goods such as machines and engines (-3.3%), for consumer goods such as furniture and household appliances (-2.1%) and for intermediate goods (-1.3%), i.e. chemicals , metals, fabrics. “Two clues are not proof but, also considering the recent negative changes in confidence indices and retail sales, they confirm that a sharp slowdown in the Italian economy at the end of the summer is a far from remote possibility”, warns Confcommercio. While Codacons and the National Consumer Union see an alarm bell in the reduction of consumer goods, considered a first tangible sign of the difficulty of families in the face of very high inflation. And according to a Unioncamere survey, the situation will soon get worse: between July and August, food prices are expected to rise by 1.7%, leading to 14.9% growth in producer prices in the last 12 months. However, inflation also produces some positive effects, at least for public accounts. Thanks also to the increase in consumer prices, which influence the growth of VAT revenues, tax revenues rose by 13.5% over 2021.

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    Source: Ansa

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