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Italy

There has been the usual turbulence for domestic non-ferrous metals operators: production levels in the November-January quarter actually decreased by 1% compared to the previous three months; a year-on-year increase of 0.8% was recorded in February for private and corporate loans; and bank deposits, mainly those relating to companies, fell by 2.2%. The good news is that public debt fell by Euro 6 billion from Euro 2,762.5 billion in December to Euro 2,756.5 billion in January.

Inflation has been revised slightly downwards. Istat estimates that, for February, the consumer price index for the whole nation recorded an increase of 0.2% on a monthly basis and of 9.1% year over year as compared to 10% in the previous month. The preliminary estimate was for a trend increase of 9.2%.

With inflation acquired for 2023 equal to 5.4% on the general index, many Italians are fighting this by buying second-hand luxury watches: an increasing number of collectors, in fact, consider watches not only as accessories but as a form of investment.

Finally, it must be said that the real estate construction sector - the true engine of the domestic economy - is deeply conscious of the challenging resolutions of the European Parliament regarding “green” homes, with buildings required to be in at least Class D by 2033. The impact on the sector will be very heavy and Italian owners are already reiterating that they will adapt only if state aid is guaranteed.