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2019年意大利将走向衰退,原因如下

彭博社 2019年01月07日

意大利经济在2018年第三季度下跌0.1%。如果第四季度经济继续滑坡,则可以确认意大利在全球金融危机至今的10年中第三次陷入衰退。

最新迹象显示欧洲的第三大经济体意大利再次濒临衰退——该国制造业已经连续第三个月滑坡。

IHS Markit的意大利制造业采购经理人指数(PMI)在2018年12月报49.2。好于经济学家预测的48.4,但仍然低于50,也就是增长-收缩分界线。就业和商业信心指标也进一步恶化。

2018年民粹政府的高额开支计划让意大利备受冲击——该计划引发了意大利和欧盟之间的争端,同时也推高了债券收益率。虽然争议在最后一刻得以化解,但在欧元区经济增长放慢、欧洲央行货币政策支持力度减弱以及美国带头实施贸易保护主义的情况下,气氛依然紧张。

2018年12月意大利经济的低迷表现以及爆发“黄背心”运动的法国出现2016年以来首次制造业滑坡给欧元区经济走势带来压力。欧元区PMI降至四年多以来的最低点,商业信心也降至2012年以来的最低水平。

中国已经受到了关税的影响。2018年12月,中国工业产值减少,上周三公布的PMI创19个月新低。亚洲和欧洲股市告跌。

IHS Markit的报告显示,意大利的商业信心降至六年来的最低水平,就业增速创四年新低。新订单连续第五个月下降,制造商被迫减产。

IHS Markit的助理董事安德鲁·哈克说:“年底的情况让意大利制造商担心。几乎没有人会乐观地认为目前的疲态可以在短期内结束。”

政治

意大利联合政府不稳定——它由以北方商业重镇为首的反移民联盟和反建制派五星运动组成,支持后者的选民则来自经济萧条的南部,这可能使2019年出现更多政治不确定因素。

意大利总统塞尔吉奥·马塔雷拉在年终讲话中批评政府迫使议会通过开支计划,同时敦促两个党派确保今后进行充分讨论。

意大利的困境凸显出欧元区在实现融合方面依然面临怎样的困难,而今年1月1日正是欧元问世20周年。

意大利经济一直走在欧元区其他成员国后面,2018年第三季度下跌0.1%。如果第四季度经济继续滑坡,则可以确认意大利在全球金融危机至今的10年中第三次陷入衰退。(财富中文网)

译者:Charlie

审校:夏林

Italy’s manufacturing sector shrank for a third straight month in the latest sign that Europe’s third-largest economy is on the brink of yet another recession.

IHS Markit’s gauge of factory activity came in at 49.2 for December 2018. While that’s better than the 48.4 forecast by economists, it’s still below 50 — the dividing line between growth and contraction — and measures of employment and business confidence worsened.

The country was rocked in 2018 by the populist government’s heavy spending plans, which sparked a spat with the European Union and pushed up bond yields. The standoff was resolved at the final hour but unease remains amid a euro-area economic slowdown, less monetary support from the European Central Bank and U.S.-led protectionism.

Italy’s poor performance in December 2018 and the first contraction in French manufacturing since 2016 — amid protests by the so-called Yellow Vests — weighed on momentum in the euro area. The PMI for the region declined to its lowest in just over four years, with business confidence reaching its worst since 2012.

China is already suffering from the consequences of trade tariffs. Factory output contracted in December 2018, with a PMI reading on last Wednesday reaching the lowest in 19 months. Asian and European stocks dropped.

The IHS Markit report for Italy showed business sentiment at the weakest in six years and employment growth at the slowest in four years. New orders slid for a fifth month, prompting manufacturers to scale back production.

It’s a “worrying end to the year for Italian manufacturers,” said Andrew Harker, associate director at IHS Markit. “There appears little sense of optimism that the current soft patch will come to an end in the near future.”

Politics

The uneasy coalition between the anti-migration League, which is strongest in the business-rich north, and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, with its electoral base in the depressed south, makes further political uncertainty possible in 2019.

In his year-end address, Italian President Sergio Mattarella took the government to task for ramming spending plans through parliament, urging both parties to ensure adequate debate in the future.

Italy’s woes highlight how the eurozone — which marked the 20th anniversary of the single currency on January 1, 2019 — is still struggling to deliver convergence.

The nation’s economy has persistently lagged behind the rest of the bloc and shrank 0.1 percent in the third quarter of 2018. A contraction in the final three months of 2018 would confirm the nation’s third recession since the global financial crisis a decade ago.

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