Absolute poverty is growing, affecting over 2 million families in 2020 (7.7% from 6.4% in 2019) and more than 5.6 million individuals (9.4% from 7.7%). Consistent with the trend in consumption, the condition worsens more in the North than in the Center and in the South. In the South there is still the highest incidence (9.4% family incidence), in the Center the lowest (5.4%). This is what emerges from the Istat annual report. HEAVY COVID EFFECTS ON COMPANIES The Italian production system has suffered heavily from the economic effects of the health crisis. In the first half of 2020, over three quarters of industrial companies with at least 20 employees recorded large falls in turnover, both on the domestic and foreign markets. According to the Istat Report, “the most widespread signs of recovery were recorded in the second half of the year and in the first quarter of 2021. Istat underlines that in manufacturing, the increase in revenues involved fifteen sectors out of twenty-three, but only nine – which weigh for over 40% of the total turnover index – they returned to pre-crisis levels. In almost all of them, domestic demand was more lively than foreign demand. In the tertiary sector, the recovery is still incomplete and heterogeneous: in March 2021 the level of revenues is still more than 7% lower than that recorded at the end of 2019.In particular, the Istat Report shows, among other things, that in 2020 the turnover of manufacturing showed signs of recovery which strengthened in the first quarter 2021. Between January and March, total revenues grew, on a trend basis, by 12.6%, following a marked increase in domestic demand (+ 15.9%) and a more contained but still significant trend , of the foreign one (+ 7.0%). The increase in revenues affected 15 sectors out of 23, with very heterogeneous trend variations: the brilliant performance of furniture (+ 29.6%), metallurgy (+ 29.1%), electrical equipment (+ 27.6%) and of means of transport (+ 25.4% for motor vehicles; + 25.6% for other means of transport), contrasts with the more contained, or stagnant, of the textile-clothing-leather sector (respectively + 5.0% , + 0.5% and -1.6%) which in the first quarter of 2020 had suffered very severe drops in turnover. Only in 9 sectors – which account for more than 40% of the total index – did we return to pre-crisis levels: wood-paper-printing, chemicals, rubber and plastics, non-metallic mineral processing products, metallurgy, products in metal, electrical equipment, automotive. In almost all manufacturing sectors (except clothing, food and pharmaceuticals), in the first three months of 2021 the trend in sales was more lively than that of exports, also due to the different performance of the two markets (fall in domestic turnover more pronounced than that of exports). IN 2020 HISTORICAL MINIMUM OF BIRTHS “The pandemic crisis has had a strong impact on demographic behavior and caused widespread stress to health structures which has reflected on the ability to prevent and treat diseases”. “The demographic picture in 2020 is characterized by the new historical minimum of births since the Unification of Italy and by a maximum of deaths since the Second World War – underlines the National Institute of Statistics – Among the determining factors of the population trend – also for the repercussions on individual life projects – there is an exceptional decline in marriages. The first data relating to 2021 reinforce the belief that the crisis has amplified the effects of the structural demographic malaise that for decades has increasingly pushed young people to delay the stages of the transition towards adult life, due to the difficulties they encounter in carrying out their projects. The health emergency has imposed restrictions that have dictated new lifestyles and limited mobility, reducing both internal transfers and flows to and from abroad “. “The pandemic – highlights Istat – has had a dramatic effect on mortality, not only for deaths caused directly, but also for those due to the worsening of the fragile conditions of the population, especially the elderly. In the first two months of the health crisis deaths related to pathologies for which timeliness and regularity of treatment are often decisive have increased. Delays and renunciations of health services – aimed at treating pathologies in an acute phase or for prevention activities – will have consequences on the health of the population. The most recent data on the activity of territorial health assistance, specialist visits and diagnostic tests measure a general decrease in services, even those that cannot be postponed “. GDP, PARTICULARLY FAVORABLE OUTLOOK FOR THE ECONOMY Despite the negative indicators, however, there are clear signs that the recovery is about to begin. The progress of vaccination campaigns and policies to support household and business incomes continue to drive the international recovery. In April, world trade in goods by volume is still expanding, albeit at a slower pace. In Italy, the recovery of economic activity continues, which is expected to extend to services as well, notes Istat in the note on the trend of the Italian economy in May-June. On average for the period from March to May, the level of industrial production increased compared to the previous three months. In the labor market, the signs of improvement in employment strengthened, mainly driven by fixed-term employment, in the presence of a progressive reduction in the share of inactive persons and a marginal decline in unemployment. Business expectations on employment remain expansive. In June, the pressure of energy prices on consumer price inflation continues, which in any case remains at the levels of the previous month. The differential between our inflation and that of the euro area remains negative, continuing to represent a positive factor for international competitiveness. The prospects for the Italian economy remain particularly favorable, underlines Istat, and are confirmed by the decisive recovery in consumer and business confidence. Istat expects a robust recovery in activity, consumption and investments, also driven by start of the Pnrr. GDP growth should be 4.7% and continue, at a slightly lower rate, the following year. In mid-2021, the consequences of the health emergency still characterize the economic and social framework. The global recession was violent and short-lived, with a rebound favored by support measures and a recovery in economic activity in all major economies. Italian GDP, after last year’s fall (-8.9%) due essentially to the collapse of domestic demand, is expected to rise by 4.7% in 2021. In the first quarter of 2021, Istat indicates, strong improvements in manufacturing, construction and some sectors of the tertiary sector and also the very short-term prospects are decidedly positive (based on the results of the survey on business and consumer confidence levels).
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