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Italy

Following this year’s many ups and downs, we have finally reached the closing credits of 2023. The pause for reflection imposed by the Christmas holidays will serve as an opportunity to assess the future with eyes always attentive to events occurring around the world which bring so much uncertainty to our sector.

However, there is some good news, including the green light given recently by the European Commission to the payment of the fourth instalment of National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNNR) funds totalling Euro 16.5 billion. To this we can add the energy law decree approved by the Council of Ministers.

These two measures meet the needs of enterprises and benefit the competitiveness of the entire country. In particular with the PNNR, this allows a stimulus to be applied to investments by making available Euro 6 billion for industry and transition 5.0. Clearly, structural reforms are needed to lift the country from the minimal growth of recent decades; bureaucracy, justice times, taxes and work must all be reformed if we want a modern and efficient country.

Italian industry has proved to be structurally strong and the major post-COVID rebound was provided by manufacturing and exports. In November, however, the business confidence index fell for the fourth month in a row to its lowest level since April 2021. In contrast, the consumer confidence indicator followed up four consecutive months of decline with an increase in November, although it remained below the average for this year’s January-October period. We must be optimistic and understand we are experiencing the fifth industrial revolution and not, as yet at least, another period of crisis.