The global outlook is dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The adverse impact of its necessary containment measures has caused an unprecedent demand and supply shock to international growth prospects.
The rapidly changing scenario makes extremely difficult to quantify the impact of the pandemic on Italian economy using the short-term indicators. The latter are conventionally released with a time lag with respect to the observation period.
First signals of COVID -19 economic effects are displayed by March consumer and business surveys -which deteriorated sharply- and February extra EU trade and retail trade.
Extra-Eu trade was negatively affected by the sharp fall of exports towards China, while retail trade improved due to the increase of expenditure for food.
Inflation is approaching zero, driven by the fall in energy sector and especially in oil prices. Euro area consumer prices dynamics, although decelerating, remains higher than the Italian one.
The March monthly report includes the first focus on the COVID-19 economic impact. Further updated and focus, including scenario analyses and simulations, will be released in the next monthly report’s editions.