Industry slows down, but does not move into negative territory

The manufacturing economy in the fourth quarter 2022

Economy - published on 15 February 2023
Source: Press Office Presidency of the Chamber of Commerce of Treviso – Belluno | Dolomites

The forecasts for the first quarter of 2023 dismiss the possibility of a more severe recession. Once again, however, a scenario of marked differences between sectors is foreshadowed: the
consumer goods industries, which are more exposed to inflationary pressure, suffer the most.
Treviso, 14 febraury 2023.
The comment of President Mario Pozza
What we are presenting here is a balance sheet that, all things considered, holds up for the manufacturing sector in the Veneto, Treviso, and Belluno areas, – is the first comment from
the President of Unioncamere Veneto, Mario Pozza, as well as President of the Chamber of Commerce of Treviso – Belluno. – The signs of a slowdown are all there, – Pozza continues
immediately – Order intake has weakened a great deal and the sectors linked to consumer goods, which are more exposed to inflationary pressure, have suffered the most.
However, – he immediately adds, – the ‘sentiment’ of our entrepreneurs for the first three months of 2023 is again more cautiously optimistic. Forty-five per cent of companies in the
Veneto and Treviso areas expect an increase in production, compared to 21-22% who fear a contraction. The situation was quite different in June, when judgments of increase and decrease almost
balanced each other out. The Belluno ‘sentiment’ differs little: 40% are optimistic about production, 27% pessimistic.
So the recession hypothesis seems to be receding, – says Pozza, – as the European Commission also says in its recent economic estimates for 2023 released no later than yesterday. This
is also confirmed by the Excelsior data on companies’ hiring plans: for the first quarter, over 45,000 hires are expected in Veneto in the manufacturing sector, +7,000 compared to the same
period last year. There is a similar trend in Treviso (10,500 hiring programmes in the sector, +1,500 compared to the first quarter of 2022) and in Belluno (2,500 hires, +800 compared to the
comparison period).
Of course, it’s not easy, there is still a war in the heart of Europe, and inflation remains high despite the fact that energy costs have started to fall, – he adds. – This issue of
inflation remains fundamental to understanding how the economy will continue in 2023, because the sectors most sensitive to the loss of household purchasing power may be affected. The data show
us a food industry ‘out of the chorus’ in terms of possible recovery in the first quarter of the year. And then, if high inflation persists, there is the risk of a further tightening of the
cost of money, which could further dampen the economy. But, – the President concluded, – I make my own the considerations of the Governor of the Bank of Italy, Ignazio Visco: while there
is undeniably a situation of extreme uncertainty, which requires us to keep an eye on inflation, the same uncertainty also suggests that we should move gradually and prudently with respect to
interest rates so as not to kill the recovery in the cradle with an overly restrictive monetary policy.

The full report is here available in

Veneto in Q4 2022: an updated picture of the
economy (in italian).

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