Italien kan blive det første land, der bliver kastet ud i recession på grund af coronavirus, men det skyldes dog, at Italien i forvejen var tæt på en recession. ABN Amro venter negativ vækst i første og andet kvartal efter negativ vækst i fjerde kvartal sidste år.
Uddrag fra ABN Amro:
Italy has emerged as the country most impacted by the coronavirus in the eurozone up until now. Italy makes up around 15% of eurozone GDP. At time of writing, the total number of cases had risen to more than 280. Most cases are in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto.
Lombardy accounts for around 21% of Italian GDP, while Veneto makes up around 9%. There is a full lockdown with transport restrictions in around twelve small towns (containing around 50,000 people) in Lombardy.
A recession looked likely even before this new shock – Italy’s economy already was in poor shape before the coronavirus hit the northern part of the country. GDP contracted by 0.3% qoq in 2019Q4, following a 0.1% increase in Q3. In December 2019, production dropped by 2.7% mom, implying that there is a significant negative statistical carry-over into 2020Q1. In January, so before the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, Italy’s manufacturing PMI jumped higher, but remained at a level (48.9) below the long-term average value and consistent with ongoing contraction in industry. The composite PMI also increased in January (to 50.4, up from 49.3 in December) but also stayed below its long-term average and at a level consistent with stabilisation of GDP.
Considering Italy’s relatively close industrial trade links with Germany, we had already expected that Italy would be one of the eurozone countries that would be hit relatively hard by the outbreak of the coronavirus in China and the rest of Asia. Before the coronavirus reached Italy, we were projecting a 0.1% contraction in Q1 (which would mark a technical recession), before stabilisation in Q2. The possible direct effects of the coronavirus on Italy discussed above, will likely deepen the contraction in Q1 and see another fall in output in Q2.