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“New year, new life” goes the most famous proverb uttered on New Year’s Eve, and the beginning of 2024 is certainly proving to be full of new tensions and new risks for Italy’s foreign trade. The crisis in the Red Sea is costing us an estimated Euro 95 million per day (Euro 35 million for the impact on exports and Euro 60 million for the lack of supplies).

Despite this, economic activity should gradually strengthen in 2024, supported by the recovery in disposable income and foreign demand. The decline in inflation has become accentuated and has extended to non-energy industrial goods and services. The Bank of Italy estimates that consumer price growth will drop from 5.9% last year to 1.9% in 2024, before a gradual decline to 1.7% in 2026.

If there is a single piece of data that implies a younger leadership is worthwhile, it is that Italy’s GDP could grow between 1% and 2%. New challenges require new skills: adapting, renewing, transforming and also facing up to the risk that innovation entails, embracing the challenge of a balanced coexistence between generations in top roles and defining new ecosystems. These ingredients make up the recipe for restoring the country’s capacity for innovation and competitiveness.

Some extremely interesting results have emerged from an analysis of responses from a sample of the population aged between 18 and 67, aimed at highlighting how Italians’ priorities have changed after the pandemic. Professional advancement has given way to the desire for a greater balance between employment and family through more flexible working hours. Time devoted to private lives and relationships has taken on a more important role. 50% of workers said they would be willing to remain in a job they like even if there were no growth prospects, while 42% were not looking for career advancement and 34% really did not want it. Food for thought.