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“The energy war burns 3% of GDP”

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A shadow on recovery and growth. The blaze of energy first and the crisis caused by the war in Ukraine then threatens to incinerate 3% of GDP in 2022. A boulder that could default 184,000 companies that employ 1.4 million people. Focusing on the consequences of these two passages on the Italian economy is a focus Censis Confcooperative elaborated on the analysis of the IMF, presented today, Tuesday 15 March.

184,000 companies at risk

According to the report, 184,000 companies with at least 3 employees are at risk. The incidence of risk is greater among service companies (20.5%) and among small companies (21.3% in the 3-9 employee class). Based on the forecasts for the first half of 2022, approximately 184 thousand companies would be exposed to such a risk as to jeopardize their operating activities. They employ just under 1.4 million people (10.5% of the total) and represent 10.9% of the added value of the production system (Istat).

The IMF analysis: energy cost fever freezes growth

According to the International Monetary Fund, the concatenation of restrictions on production activities, bottlenecks on the supply side of raw materials and energy and the inflationary effects linked to the rebound in demand cost Italy about one and a half points of GDP in 2021. Estimation confirmed also for 2022 by the results of the counterfactual analysis of the International Monetary Fund. The most recent estimates of the Italian GDP, released by international institutions and agencies, are around 4% for 2022 and vary between 2.2% and 2.6% for 2023. “For expensive energy – explains Maurizio Gardini, president of Confcooperative – the IMF, in the pre-war period, had estimated a contraction of the GDP equal to 1.5% to which must be added the effects of the war that risk costing us at least another 1.5% of GDP (source Confcooperative studies) between increases in raw material prices, difficulties in procurement, lack of exports to Russia, closure of tourist flows and worsened conditions for the circulation of goods ยป.

Production capacity forecast in the first half of 2022

29.8% of Italian companies – over 285 thousand, of which 221 thousand companies in the service sector – are unable to recover the levels of production capacity prior to the pandemic. 61.7% has already returned to a production regime in line with pre-pandemic levels (65.1% in industry, 60.2% in services), while 8.5% (around 82 thousand companies) has already passed the critical phase with an increase in production capacity compared to two years ago, even if in the tertiary sector the share falls to 6.7% and in industry it exceeds 12%, just as the incidence among small businesses is lower (6.6% in the class 3-9 employees) and the highest among the largest (23.9% in the class with at least 250 employees).

The mismatch between supply and demand of labor in 2021 cost 1.2% of GDP

Companies are ready to hire but there is a lack of qualified personnel: the mismatch in 2021 burned 1.2% of GDP and continues to weigh in 2022 for almost 200,000 companies. The finding of professional figures weighs heavily. This is what 20% of Italian companies (184 thousand) complain, with at least 3 employees in formulating expectations for the first quarter of 2022. In industry, the incidence rises to 23.1% (just under 67 thousand) and in construction it reaches 27 , 3% (about 30 thousand). The conditioning of the lack of professionalism by companies with a size between 50 and 249 employees (28.1%) is much more felt.