Benino and anyway better of expectations the economy, mixed signals but with some positive ideas from the labor market. The data released yesterday by Istat photograph a recent phase but a little different from the current one: in March-April the pressure of the epidemic was stronger and economic activities were conditioned by more stringent restrictions regarding closures. The most recent numbers are those of employment which refer to the month of April: the gradual increase in the number of employed persons continued, increasing by 20,000 units compared to March. A trend that, however, is very diversified between men and women (for the former there is a decrease of 35,000, for the latter an increase of 55,000) and essentially characterized by a strong recovery of forward contracts to the detriment of time contracts. undetermined. For self-employed workers, on the other hand, the negative trend continues, with a further loss of 30 thousand units. At the same time, the number of unemployed has increased, corresponding to a decline in that of the inactive, or essentially people who are not looking for work. All factors that seem to describe a still very tiring transition after the haemorrhage of seats induced by Covid. However, the situation of young people remains difficult, together with women, the traditional weak point of the Italian labor market.
If we look at the level in April compared to that of three months earlier, the overall increase is about 120 thousand units. Turning even further back, however, there is the chasm dug by the first wave of the pandemic: compared to February last year – despite recent gains – the total number of employees remains lower by more than 800,000 units. The overall employment rate remains at 56.9 per cent, the lowest in Europe, while the unemployment rate has risen by three tenths from March to 10.7. The value of the latter indicator is naturally much higher for the 15-24 age group (33.7 per cent) and also for the 25 to 34 age group (15.8). On the other hand, it is lower for subsequent age groups and in particular for those over 50, in which participation in work is lower due to the incidence of those who are already retired. In short, the current phase is a restarting phase of the labor market, but still with many characteristics of weakness: fixed-term contracts are growing, therefore still precarious, because the prospects remain uncertain. The presence of women increases because a part of the workers penalized by the pandemic (due to the fall in employment but also for the domestic needs of the lockdown) returns to the business and this contributes to the increase in the unemployment rate, because the same people in previously they were inactive.
GDP Italy, Intesa Sanpaolo: a rebound of around 1% expected in the second quarter
And yet, the Italian economy has been on the move since the first months of the year. Yesterday, the statistical institute significantly revised the preliminary data relating to the gross domestic product for the January-March period. The provisional estimate released at the end of April spoke of a decline of 0.4 percent compared to the previous quarter and 1.4 percent compared to a year earlier. Now, however, the consolidated data indicate even a slight economic growth (+ 0.1%) and a more contained trend decline (-0.8%). While consumption is still showing a negative trend, the boost comes from gross fixed investments, which grew by 3.7 per cent. The dynamism of businesses on the investment front was also reported on Monday by the Governor of the Bank of Italy Visco in his Final Considerations. As for the macro-sectors, that of services is still stagnant, while agriculture and industry are showing good growth. Istat reports that the variation acquired for this year is equal to 2.6 per cent. It means that this would be the final result if in the next three quarters the increase were equal to zero. A clearly unrealistic hypothesis given that, on the contrary, an acceleration of the economy is expected for the period still underway and for the following ones, driven by the gradual return of the restrictions on the opening of activities and circulation in general. For the whole of 2021, the average increase in GDP should be more than 4 percent: an assessment shared by the government and the main Italian and international organizations, including the Bank of Italy, which in about ten days will make its precise estimate known. .