What revolves around the “significant revision” of the Italian GDP is a bit like the overwhelming enthusiasm for the European football championships: up to now we have played well, indeed very well, best of all since we have reached the final . The European Commission’s forecasts say the same: the estimate of + 5% for this year makes Italy the seventh country in the eurozone for economic rebound. Behind us there is even Germany. So let’s go with flags, trumpets and carousels. We will grow better than expected, more than the European average: it is something more than the end of the season of Merkel and Sarkozy’s giggles against Italy, sunk by debt and by the spread. And it is because in the face of a catastrophe – Covid – we are proving to be among the best at rolling up our sleeves.
It is what happened between January and March, when the country was passing from the Conte government to that of Mario Draghi, that made us earn 0.8% of GDP more than the spring forecast, when the estimate for the year it spoke of a rebound of 4.2 percent. The changing pace of the vaccination campaign was the basic condition, but a number of positive factors leaned on it. These are not macroeconomic concepts, but behaviors that have in turn fueled a climate of trust. Businesses have returned to planning their investments, in the first five months the INPS recorded an increase in contributions paid by 9.5% compared to the same period last year, the industry has pulled the sprint. From there, a wake was generated that from April onwards widened, also pulling in consumers, with a confidence index that began to rise and then in June exceeded the level of February 2020, recording the highest levels since ‘October 2018. Of course this leap is broken up, services and in particular tourism – important sectors of the economy – are struggling more, but they too are entering the logic of restarting.
The comparison with the ball ends here. Sunday at Wembley we will play for the title of European champions, while the better than expected GDP sprint will not allow us to keep up with many other countries next year. The rebound will be more contained, we will slide from seventh to eleventh place. If you look at the last twenty years it is a half miracle because we will not be the plague victims of Europe anyway, for a few more months we could take advantage of the freezing of the great issues that make us weak, from debt to deficit, much will also depend on when and above all how much the community rules will change. But that air of an “economic boom”, to use the expression of the European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni, now needs to be fed, not dissipated.
Many times, and often abused, there is talk of a country mission, of national unity (only to return abruptly to reality with the quarrel over the Zan bill), again of the Italy of Recovery. It will not be enough to return to the flat growth of recent years. The leap will have to be double and passes from the government of two issues. The first is the Recovery: 248 billion, which will arrive in packages and only if the spending rate agreed with Brussels is maintained, can they trigger changes, more or less impressive, in some sectors, from digital to green to mention the most important spending items. full-bodied. The planning phase, with Mario Draghi’s change of pace, is completed, 25 billion will arrive by the end of the summer. Phase 2 will now be decisive: the grounding of the money must be organized and managed. A myriad of facets are grafted into the logic of the tenders that it will be up to everyone, from the government to the small municipality, to overturn with respect to the vision of the last twenty years: the timing of the races, the timely spending, the ability to correct the route if delays occur or worse illegal.
The second question, linked to the first, is that of the multiplier effect of investments. 248 billion will not be enough to make us grow more and above all in a stable way. Only if the Recovery shipyard proves to be adequate and capable of engaging breaking elements in a tired production fabric (read the great industrial crises of Alitalia, formerly Ilva and Whirlpool) then Italian and foreign investments can become a springboard. Companies, trade unions, obviously politics, citizens are called to this challenge, given that the use of super savings set aside during the lockdown is another element of wealth for the country. But in the meantime we can celebrate. And it’s not cheap.