The health emergency triggered by the Covid pandemic caused a historic economic crisis in Italy. After the slight improvement in 2019, last year there were alarming numbers in terms of consumption, never so low since the Second World War, and on absolute poverty, which emerged from the latest reports State e Confcommercio.
Istat, the number of families and Italians in absolute poverty rises
They are considered in poverty absolute all individuals and families who cannot afford the minimum expenses to lead an acceptable life. The spending threshold is calculated by Istat on a temporal and territorial basis with a basket that includes essential goods and services, such as expenses for the home, health and clothing.
In 2020 beyond 2 million families (+ 1.2% compared to the previous year) are living below the absolute poverty line. It is about 5.2 million individuals (+ 1.7%). This is the highest figure since 2005, the year in which the survey on this index began. On the other hand, there are over 2.6 million families below the relative poverty line, more than one in ten.
The absolute incidence is higher than the South, but the largest growth was recorded at North, with the percentage going from 5.8% in 2019 to 7.6%. The number of families below the threshold increases in municipalities under 50,000 inhabitants and in metropolitan suburbs in the North, in cities in the Center and in smaller municipalities in the South.
In the pre-Covid year, poor families were distributed equally throughout Italy, while now 47% are in the North and 38.6% in the South, with a difference of as many as 167,000 households. There are over 2 million and 500 thousand absolute poor residing in the Northern regions and 2 million and 259 thousand in the South.
Absolute poverty reaches a rate of 11.3% among young people aged between 18 and 34 years, 9.2% in the age group between 35 and 64 years and 5.4% among over 65.
Confcommercio, consumption never so low since World War II
Confcommercio also notes an overall decline in consumption 11.7%, or 126 billion of euro. This would be the worst figure ever recorded since the end of the Second World War.
The figure is also affected by the reduction in tourist flows, with a 60.4% decline in spending by foreign tourists, or approximately 27 billion, almost all concentrated in the central and northern regions, especially Lazio and Tuscany.
Confcommercio’s report on consumption from 2019 to 2021 highlights how the collapse in demand caused “a loss of over 2 thousand euros each“Compared to the year before the Covid pandemic, bringing the levels back to those of 1995.
Internal consumption growth of 3.8% is expected for the current year. However, the forecasts are “very cautious“, Above all because of the insecurity on the restart of international tourism. The per capita expenditure, the report highlights, “will not even be able to recover one third of what was lost during the pandemic “.