MILAN – 2023 for the Italian industry goes to the archives with a “minus” sign. Istat has published the production data for December, thus completing the findings of the past year. “2023 ends with a decrease in industrial production compared to the previous year of 2.5%”, writes the institute, noting that “the trend dynamics of the index corrected for calendar effects was negative for almost all months of 2023”.
Even if we look at the evolution over the course of the year, we note “cyclical declines in almost all quarters, with the exception of the third, when a very slight recovery was recorded. Among the main industry groupings, only for capital goods growth is observed overall in 2023 compared to the previous year”.
In fact, in the Istat tables we discover that this category of goods – which include for example “the manufacturing of machines and engines, the manufacturing of measuring and control instruments and equipment, the manufacturing of motor vehicles” – has increased by 2.8% . Between consumer goodswhich overall fell by 3.5%, the worst balance is for the “durable” ones which show a -5.4%: the reference is to household appliances, furniture, motorcycles, audio equipment and TV.
by Filippo Santelli
The data for the month of December alone signals some recovery, with production growing by 1.1% compared to November but the index net of calendar effects still reports -2.1% compared to December 2022.
ECB, the industries in Italy and Germany most vulnerable
Concerns, those that emerge from the productive fabric, which go hand in hand with the recent findings of other institutes such as the ECB and the Prometeia-Intesa Sanpaolo analysis.
Yesterday the Frankfurt bulletin reported how the increase in interest rates – desired by the Eurotower to combat inflation – has exacerbated the financial fragility of companies. Italy and Germany are indicated as the countries most at risk of vulnerability, in a scenario in which the number of bankruptcies in the second and third quarters of 2023 exceeded pre-pandemic levels, reaching the record since 2015, i.e. since the beginning of the series historical. Last year, financially vulnerable businesses increased and the largest share, if we look at the four large Eurozone countries, is found in Italy and Germany (9%). A “remarkable increase”, explained the Eurotower economists, which reflects the “relatively high share of industrial companies” in the two countries. On the positive side, in the ECB bulletin, there is an indication of a slow recovery in economic activity during 2024. But it is a fragile situation, if one takes the analysis of the industrial sectors Understanding e Prometheia which still highlights a weakness in orders for the first half of 2024, in a context of uncertainty.