Covid, Bankitalia: “deep and widespread” crisis in Lazio

Covid, Bankitalia: “deep and widespread” crisis in Lazio
Covid, Bankitalia: “deep and widespread” crisis in Lazio

Tourism, restaurants and hotels punished. Penalized precarious and autonomous, citizenship income increases

The Covid crisis “spread rapidly also in Lazio” last year, while the measures of social distancing and the partial closure of the activities, adopted to limit the infections, had strong repercussions on the regional economic system, although with different results among the main sectors. The Bank of Italy notes this in the report “The economy of Lazio”, in which the quarterly indicator of the regional economy (Iter) shows, for 2020, a fall in GDP in real terms equal to 8.4 per one hundred. According to the Bank of Italy, a decline “substantially in line with the national average”.

In the Region, “employment decreased significantly after two years of stagnation” and the decline “concerned temporary and self-employed employees”, where the impact on permanent work was mainly held back by the blocking of layoffs and the extensive use of wage integration measures. The decline in employment was more pronounced in services, especially in the hotel and restaurant sector, and affected younger workers and women to a greater extent.

“It has discouraged the search for a job” and thus the share of assets has fallen. According to the Bank of Italy analysis, the decline in employment has had negative consequences on the economic conditions of families and on income inequality. The number of families benefiting from the Income or Citizenship Pension increased by a third compared to 2019, more than in Italy. Another large number of families had access to emergency income, a measure established during the health crisis. On the other hand, the incidence of the two benefits on the number of resident families is at the level of the Italian average.

Lazio, then, is not exempt from the phenomenon of young people who do not study, do not work and do not follow training programs, the so-called Neet. In Italy there are 3 million, equal to about 25% of the total, in the Region the figures are slightly less acute: 277 thousand in the 15-34 age group, equal to 22.8% of the total. According to the study, the families at greatest risk on incomes are those with precarious jobs or those with permanent jobs, but with states of crisis that provide for income integration mechanisms.
Meanwhile, the “pandemic” has led to “a significant drop in consumption and a large increase in household savings”, continues the Bank of Italy. The increase reflected both the limitations on the purchase of goods and services for the closure of non-essential activities and the fear of contagion as well as precautionary reasons. The growth in savings was associated with an increase in liquidity held in low-risk instruments, such as bank deposits and postal savings. Loans to households slowed down sharply, especially due to consumer credit which, at the end of the year, stagnated for the first time since 2015. Again in Lazio, says Bank of Italy, the flow of new mortgages recovered from the decline recorded in the first part of the year, returning to make a positive contribution to the growth in loans in the second half of the year, thanks to overall improved financing conditions. The impact of the Covid crisis on companies in Lazio “was profound and widespread among all sectors, although companies in the commerce, hotel and catering sectors were affected to a greater extent, penalized by the restrictive measures introduced to reduce infections and by the strong downsizing of tourist flows “. The Bank of Italy notes this in the report “The economy of Lazio”.

This dynamic, in the face of other sectors that were less affected, could have contributed to the accentuation of inequality on income from work last year, on which the Gini index rose by 0.36 points in Lazio, in line with the national average. This data, however, does not consider some income integration mechanisms, such as layoffs, which may have mitigated the increase in inequality.

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