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Investments and confidence in the Italian driving force

Investments and confidence in the Italian driving force

A message of confidence built on the rationality of the results our country has achieved with the South finally engaging more intensively in record post-Covid growth. It is a sobering message about what lies ahead for Italy and Europe in a complex geopolitical context, dealing with demographic decline and fragmentation that weaken us in the global technological competition, but each with all the cards to play to look to the future with confidence.

Here we are, with the first final considerations of the Governor of the Bank of Italy, Fabio PanettaIt is interesting to emphasize a realistic analysis that breaks the harmful media cycle of the inevitable Italian decline to make room for the reality of a “possible trend reversal” thanks to objective data that “in the rapid recovery of Italy’s exports and investments” one can see in the last four years signs of restructuring. The production system and its new ability to compete in international markets.

In fact, this message is expressed many times always using the double register of strict but direct language and numbers documenting the power of this language. Where Italy appears side by side, the first with the lowest growth in product per capita in the last quarter century with widening external and internal gaps, and the new second since post-Covid until today which is heading in the opposite direction. A new Italy allows the governor to assert: “We are not doomed to stagnation.” The recovery recorded after the epidemic crisis was higher than expectations and those of other large economies in the region. “Unlike what happened in episodes of crises in the past, they were also severe in the south.”

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A few numbers are enough to explain algebraically what we are talking about: Between 2019 and 2023, in a period of strong turmoil, Italian GDP grew by 3.5%, compared to 1.5% in France and 0.7% in Germany.The gap is larger in per capita terms; Employment rates rose by 2.3% – nearly 600,000 people – driven by the permanent component. The unemployment rate fell to 6.9%, and is now permanently lower than the French unemployment rate. Pay attention, look at what’s happened in terms of innovation in manufacturing. Today it is the most automated among the major economies of the eurozone: in 2021 in Italy there were 13.4 robots per thousand workers, compared to 12.6 in Germany and 9.2 in France. Since 2019, industrial companies have doubled the share of investments in digital technologies to 17%.

The paradigm shift this newspaper talks about is here. Four years as a European locomotive in which the South ran alongside the rest of the country and sometimes overtook it, and the previous quarter-century as a European slowdown – the weight of public debt and the resulting regional, gender and generational imbalances – that continues to weigh on the rock on our future.

However, it is a rock that today we can aspire to remove if it is true that our country is a net creditor to the rest of the world of €155 billion, 7.4% of GDP, and just ten years ago our net foreign position was 23% of debt. With the exception of Germany, no other European country can say that its international debts are greater than its own. It’s not a little. It also cannot be unimportant that GDP growth expectations have been constantly revised upward from one quarter to the next for four years now. As of yesterday, growth for 2024 had risen from 0.5 to 0.6%, bringing the goals set by the Meloni government for this year closer.

Even if the word South appears twice in these final considerations as a champion of new growth and a structural economic lag to be resolved alongside public debt, as it should be, it is in fact ever-present throughout the report. Because globalization is not dead, but it is reshaping logistics chains and placing southern Italy in a strategic position with attractive potential for global investors. Why Without intense growth in the south, Italy will never be able to achieve the rate of expansion necessary to reduce its public debt burden. It is clear that a united and growing Italy, if it is able to deal with the demographic problem, is the only one that Europe can rely on and contribute to returning it, in the spirit of the founders, to a competitive global player. On par with the United States and China. Crucially, the Meloni government has maintained and in some cases increased the international credibility it inherited, as evidenced by the various results.

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