Bank of Italy, growth loses steam in Calabria. GDP at 1.1% in the first half of 2023


By John

In the first part of 2023, the growth of the Calabrian economy lost steam, continuing the trend that had already manifested itself starting from the middle of last year. Based on the ITER indicator developed by the Bank of Italy, in the first half of the year economic activity in the region increased by 1.1 percentin line with what is observed in the rest of the country.

According to the results of the economic survey conducted between September and October by the Bank of Italy, the turnover of Calabrian companies in the first nine months of the year recorded an average moderate increase, still
supported by the increase in sales prices. The income situation has improved, also benefiting from the
reduction in the prices of energy goods, while investments remained at low levels, probably affected by the climate of uncertainty regarding the evolution of the macroeconomic framework and the increase in the cost of credit.

At a sectoral level, the slowdown mainly affected industry in the strict sense. Construction was still partly driven by the completion of the building redevelopment interventions stimulated by the Superbonus, while in the future the contribution of public works financed by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), which has so far been lower than expected, could have a greater impact of the operators. In the tertiary sector, the economic situation remained positive, despite being affected by the slowdown in sales in trade and the weak growth in tourist presences.

After the significant recovery of the previous two years, employment trends showed signs of weakening, which mainly concerned permanent employment contracts and the female component.

The employment rate has started to grow again, however essentially fueled by greater intensity in the search for work. The consumption of Calabrian families was affected by the sharp decline in purchasing power, accompanied by a deterioration in the climate of confidence.

Inflation, after reaching a peak at the end of 2022, gradually began to reduce in the first months of the current year, although still remaining at high levels. Families in economic difficulty continued to benefit from extraordinary measures aimed at limiting the impact of increases in energy and gas prices. At the same time, following recent regulatory changes, the share of families benefiting from the Citizenship Income has begun to reduce, which will be totally replaced from the beginning of 2024 by the Inclusion Allowance, intended for a smaller group of families.

The growth of bank loans to private customers weakened, mainly reflecting the decline in demand associated with the rise in interest rates. The loan trend was worse for businesses, especially for smaller ones; for families, the use of consumer credit remained strong, while new residential mortgage disbursements fell. Despite the worsening of the economic situation, the rate of credit deterioration remained limited. Bank deposits of families and businesses decreased slightly, also as a result of the recomposition of savings towards instruments with higher returns.

At the presentation of the economic update on the Calabrian economy produced by the Bank of Italy. The director of the Catanzaro branch of the institute spoke, Marcello Mala Misuraand the researchers who edited the report.

The growth phase of the port of Gioia Tauro continues

«In the port of Gioia Tauro the growth phase underway since the second half of 2019 continued». This was revealed by the Catanzaro branch of the Bank of Italy in the economic report on the performance of the economy in Calabria. According to Bankitalia, «container movement in the first nine months of the year increased by 2.1 percent compared to the corresponding period last year (it had grown by over 7% in 2022)».