Youth unemployment up sharply in July and zero growth in the first half: the data released Friday are hardly encouraging for the future Italian government Five stars – center left, which intends to boost the country by making it "more competitive" but also "more inclusive ".
The unemployment rate rose by 0.1 point last month to 9.9%, still remaining below the symbolic mark of 10% it had broken down in May for the first time in seven years, has announced the National Institute of Statistics (Istat).
On the other hand, among young people aged 15 to 24, the increase was much more marked, by 0.8 points, with a rate now reaching 28.9%.
Youth unemployment, including the most highly educated, is endemic in Italy. And Giuseppe Conte, the Prime Minister responsible for forming a government, said in his acceptance speech Thursday morning, promising measures to "make Italy an attractive country for young people."
The peninsula has an unemployment rate well above the euro area average of 7.5% for the entire labor force and 15.6% for 15-24 year olds.
– "Mal-être social" –
The third economy in the euro area is struggling, which weighs on the morale of Italians, as evidenced by the decline in the index of household confidence in August. After a recession in the second half of 2018 (GDP decline of 0.1%), Italy experienced zero growth in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first six months of 2019, confirmed Friday the Istat.
For the year as a whole, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expect growth of only 0.1%. But some experts are even more pessimistic, believing that the peninsula could once again fall into recession.
The Italian economy is affected by the economic slowdown across Europe, trade tensions between China and the United States, but also by the caution of companies that invest less, worried about both global developments and political instability.
Already weakened by tensions within the coalition formed by the League (extreme right) of Matteo Salvini and the 5-star Movement (M5S, antisystem), the country plunged into political instability when Mr. Salvini broke the 8 August this alliance formed 14 months earlier.
On Thursday, resigning Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte agreed to form a new executive backed by the Democratic Party (PD, center left) and the Five Star (Anti-System) Movement, ending three weeks of uncertainty.
– Prevent a VAT increase –
"On paper, the new government should be more responsible in terms of budget, but it will be under enormous pressure to avoid austerity," said Lorenzo Codogno, former chief economist of the Italian Treasury and founder of the firm LC Macro Advisors, in a note analysis.
"The DP has lost the previous elections for not having been able to understand the social malaise" and "it is undoubtedly an area where the two parties can find a common ground", judges it, in considering that the new executive, which should be formed in the coming days, should maintain the citizenship income for the more modest, but making it more efficient, and reduce taxation on employment.
It also intends to avoid the automatic rise in VAT, from 22% to more than 25% expected in 2020, so as not to further affect the purchasing power of families.
According to Mr. Codogno, he should also revive the Industry 4.0 plan, aimed at accelerating the modernization of businesses and training through tax incentives, and focus on the development of the South, which is depopulated for lack of jobs and jobs. infrastructure (roads, schools, social services).
The rise in unemployment, especially among young people, shows that "Italy is going through a delicate and critical moment, which demands the maximum responsibility of the political forces and courageous choices in favor of a revival of the economy". elsewhere pleaded the consumer association Federconsumatori.