意大利:逐步复苏
2016-03-01 17:58:34
意大利:逐步复苏(2016.03.01)

  提要:意大利经济前景已有所好转。实际GDP继续增长,主要动力来自内需,但投资走势依然令人失望。虽然家庭部门仍极为谨慎,但在劳动力市场形势好转的支持下,私人消费走势转强。通胀率下降推动了实际可支配收入增长。此外,房地产业也出现了复苏迹象,房价止跌回升。最新经济指标显示,意大利经济将进一步扩张。

  (外脑精华·北京)内需复苏推动经济增长

  2015年3季度,意大利经济进一步复苏,尽管速度相比上半年有所放缓。实际GDP环比增长0.2%,同比增长0.8%,为2011年初以来最高。复苏继续受到国内需求驱动,除去股票外,在此前2个季度为整体增长提供了0.2%。在私人和公共消费对于GDP增长做出积极贡献的时候,投资下降0.1%。

  外国需求显示出疲软的迹象。净出口的负面贡献为0.4%,进口增长0.5%,而出口下降0.8%。根据贸易平衡数据,意大利企业在新兴世界经济环境恶化的情况下遭受损失。中国销售停滞,在俄罗斯、拉丁美洲和欧佩克国家崩溃。

  2015年3季度,建筑业经济活动进一步下降,而服务业实际上保持稳定,工业价值提升0.4%。从1月至10月,运输设备生产提升20%,制药生产超过5%,同时食品和纺织品行业活动下降。

  消费走势向好

  2015年3季度,家庭消费积极的趋势非常稳固。个人支出提升0.4%,同3季度利率相同。连续第9个月增长使得年增长率高于1%,为4年以来首次。增长主要由于耐用品购买的支持,自2013年下半年以来,复苏超过10%。

  劳动力市场条件改善,得益于新的开放式招聘,以及一定程度上,就业法案中个人解约新规范的引入。11月失业率降至11.3%,2014年底该数值高于13%。年轻失业率降至38%,一年之内下降超过5个点。工作人口暴增至2250万人。自危机最严重的2013年下半年以来,有35万新增职位。增长主要由于工资,由于自我雇佣合同。

  尽管消费信心继续提升,Istat指数为10年以来最高水平,家庭仍非常谨慎,消费提升速度低于可支配收入提升速度。从1月至9月,意大利购买力提升2%,受益于低通胀,同时消费累计增长仍低于1%,而储蓄率从2015年2季度的8.6%提升至9.5%。

  房地产市场初现复苏迹象

  房地产市场表现出复苏的迹象。在持续一段时间的调整过程之后,10.5万住宅单元在2015年3季度售出,比2014年3季度提升10.8%。总之,2015年前9个月,相比去年同期,住宅单元的交易数量提升5.3%。尽管有这积极的趋势,交易数量仍远低于2006年86.6万的峰值,处于危机前的扩张周期。居住单元销售的提升在全国分布广泛。不过,这在北方尤为显著,2014年1季度销售提升13%,而中部提升10.7%,南部提升7%。

  2011年2季度以来首次,2013年3季度房屋价格有过提升,存量房价格下降有限,新房稳固反弹。后者增长为2010年以来最高。在2015年前9个月,住宅房地产价格仍是负面的,下降2.9%,自2010年以来下降14%。根据一些国际机构,目前房屋价格水平占收入比例略低于其长期平均水平。这可以看做是市场低估的指标。

  意大利房地产市场轻微复苏,伴随着欧元区房地产市场整体复苏,在消沉几年后转危为安。考虑到房地产占意大利家庭实际财富的比重,该部门强劲复苏对于家庭信心有积极影响,刺激其消费倾向。

  根据意大利银行近期发布的数据,住房财产占整体意大利家庭财富的85%,此外,意大利所有比例非常高,为67.7%。这一比例,根据收入水平、年龄、教育程度和就业状况显著改善。较富裕的家庭,所有比例达到90%,高于中等富裕的50%,和贫穷的1%。只有一小部分外国出生的家庭拥有房屋:大约为22%。

  房地产复苏将支持建筑行业,其中最严重的是过去7年一直困扰着意大利经济的危机。建筑行业广泛定义,包括55万个公司,数量超过任何一个欧洲国家:法国有51.3个建筑公司,西班牙有32.1万,德国有27.4万。2015年前9个月部门占整体经济附加值的4.7%;2008年为6.1%。从2008年1季度至2015年3季度,建筑行业附加值下降32.1%,相比整体附加值下降8.4%。

  根据近期意大利建筑企业联合会发布数据,从2008年到2015年底,新居住单元建筑投资下降27.6%,由于投资修复的提升和新建筑显著下降。

  然而,好转的迹象突出,如同建筑行业就业趋势。在连续下降19个月之后,2015年2季度该部门整体就业同比提升2.5%;此外,2015年3季度只有稳定就业雇员提升。尽管有这积极数据,部门整体就业下降是显著的。2015年3季度,建筑就业从2008年4季度以来下降50.2万人。

  投资依然低迷

  尽管有良好的财政环境,商业投资继续令人失望。尽管,非金融企业贷款银行利率低于2%,整体固定资本形成总值3季度下降0.4%,此前2季度下降0.1%。根据意大利银行预计,意大利公司经济环境稳定,但处于历史较低水平。从7月至9月,结构支出降至近20年最低水平,机械和设备再次下降,抵消2季度增长。

  最近指标表明未来几个季度将进一步扩张,尽管全球风险较大。2016年,实际GDP预计将加速超过1%,由国内需求驱动。个人消费将继续提升,家庭可支配收入将受到宽松财政立场和较低石油价格的支持。同时出口可能失去一些动力,投资预计将提升。

  

  英文原文:A gradual recovery

The economic outlook has improved. Real GDP has further increased, mainly driven by domestic demand, despite disappointing investment. Although households remain extremely cautious, private consumption strengthened, supported by the improvement of labour market conditions. Real disposable income rose, benefiting from lower inflation. On top of that, the real estate sector shows signs of recovery, with home prices up again. The number of transactions of residential units increased by more than 5% in the first nine months of 2015. Recent indicators point to further expansion: while exports might lose some momentum, investment is expected to pick up, supported by recently approved tax incentives.

A domestic recovery

In Q3 2015, the Italian economy has further recovered, despite at a slower pace than that recorded in the first half of the year. Real GDP rose by a quarterly 0.2% (following +0.4% in Q1 and +0.3% in Q2). The annual growth rate reached +0.8%, the highest since the beginning of 2011. The recovery continued to be driven by domestic demand, which, excluding stocks, added 0.2 percentage points to the overall growth, as in the previous two quarters. While both private and public consumption positively contributed to the GDP increase (respectively +0.2 pp and +0.1 pp), investment subtracted 0.1 pp.

Foreign demand showed signs of weakening. The negative contribution from net exports was 0.4 pp, as imports rose by 0.5% and exports declined by 0.8%. According to trade balance data, Italian firms suffered from worsening economic conditions in the emerging world. Sales stagnated in China and collapsed in Russia, Latin America and OPEC countries.

In Q3 2015, activity in the construction sector further declined, while that in service was virtually stable. Industrial value added increased by 0.4%, the third consecutive positive reading, despite the recovery continued to be uneven at a sectorial level. From January to October, production of transportation equipment rose by almost 20% and that of pharmaceutical products by more than 5%, while in the food and textile sectors activity declined.

The positive momentum of consumption

In Q3 2015, the positive trend in households' consumption was confirmed. Private expenditure rose by 0.4%, the same rate as in Q3. The ninth consecutive increase brought the annual growth rate above 1% for the first time in four years. The rise was mainly bolstered by purchases of durable goods, which recovered more than 10 percentage points since the second half of 2013.

Labour market conditions improved, benefiting from social contribution relief on new open-ended hires and, to a lesser extent, the new rules on individual dismissals introduced by the Jobs Act. The unemployment rate fell to 11.3% in November, from more than 13% in end-2014. Youth unemployment rate declined to 38%, down by more than 5 percentage points in a year. The number of persons in work soared near 22.5 million. Since the worst of the crisis, in the second part of 2013, almost 350 000 new jobs have been created. The growth was entirely due to payroll employment as self- employment contracted.

Despite consumer confidence continued to increase, with the Istat index at the highest level in more than ten years, households remain extremely cautious, increasing consumption slower than disposable income. From January to September, Italians' purchasing power rose by almost 2%, benefiting from lower inflation (+0.1% in 2015), while the cumulative growth of consumption remained below 1%, while the saving ratio was up to 9.5% from 8.6% in Q2 2015.

Tentative signs of recovery in the real estate market

The real estate also shows signs of recovery. After some ups and downs during a prolonged period of adjustment, 105,000 residential units (new and existing) were sold in Q3 2015, i.e. 10.8% more than in Q3 2014. All in all, in the first nine months of 2015, the number of transactions of residential units increased by 5.3% with respect to the same period a year earlier. Despite this positive trend, the number of transactions remains well below the peak of 866,000 reached in 2006, i.e. during the pre-crisis expansionary period. The increase in residential unit sales was widespread nationwide. Still, it was particularly marked in the North, where sales are up 13% since Q1 2014, versus +10.7% in the Centre and +7% in the South.

For the first time since Q2 2011, home prices recorded a slight quarterly increase (+0.2%) in Q3 2015, the result of a limited fall in the prices of existing homes (-0.1%) and a solid rebound in new ones (+1.4%). The latter increase is the highest since 2010. In the first nine months of 2015 residential real estate prices are still negatively oriented, falling by 2.9% (compared to -4.6% in the same period of 2014), and down by about 14% since 2010. According to some international institutions, the current level of home prices to income ratio is slightly below its long run average. This may be seen as an indicator of undervaluation of the market.

The housing sector is key

The slight recovery of the real estate market in Italy follows a general rebound in the Eurozone housing market that has turned the corner after years in the doldrums. Given the weight of the real estate property on the Italian households' real wealth, a strong recovery of the sector would have a positive impact on households' confidence, stimulating their propensity to consume.

According to some data recently released by the Bank of Italy, residential wealth represents about 85% of total Italian households' wealth ; furthermore, the ownership ratio is quite high in Italy, at 67.7%1. This percentage, however, changes dramatically according to the level of income, age, school attainment and the employment status. As for wealthier families, the ownership rate reaches 90%, compared to 50% for those with a median wealth and just 1% for the poorest ones. Only a small percentage of foreign-born households own their homes: about 22%.

The recovery of the real estate market would support the construction sector, one of the most severely hit by the long crisis that has been gripping the Italian economy in the last seven years. The construction sector, in a broad definition, includes about 550,000 firms, more than any other country in Europe: France has about 513,000 construction firms, Spain 321,000 and Germany 274,000. In the first nine months of 2015 the sector accounted for about 4.7% of the total economy's value added; in 2008 it was 6.1%. From Q1 2008 to Q3 2015 the construction sector's value added decreased by 32.1% compared to -8.4% for the overall value added.

According to estimates recently released by the Italian construction firms association (ANCE), from 2008 to the end of 2015, investment in the construction of new residential units fell by 27.6%, due to an increase for investment in renovation (+19.4%) and a dramatic decrease for those in new buildings (which, according to the ANCE’s estimations, decreased by 61.1%).

However, tentative signs of an upturn can be highlighted, as the employment trend in the construction sector. After falling for 19 months in a row, the total number of persons employed in this sector rose by 2.5% y/y in Q2 2015; additionally only permanent contract employees increased in Q3 2015. Despite this positive data, the decline in the sector’s overall employment is dramatic. In Q3 2015, construction employment was down by 502,000 people (-25,3%) from Q4 2008.

Investment: still in the doldrums

Business investment continued to be disappointing, despite favourable financial conditions. Although, bank interest rates on loans to non-financial corporations fell below 2%, gross fixed capital formation declined by 0.4% in Q3, after -0.1% in Q2. According to the Bank of Italy's estimates, economic conditions for Italian firms were stable but at historically low levels. From July to September, spending on structures fell to the lowest level in the last twenty years and that on machinery and equipment renewed with contraction, offsetting the Q2 increase.

Recent indicators point to further expansion in the coming quarters, despite greater global risks. In 2016, real GDP is expected to accelerate well above 1%, driven by domestic demand. Private consumption is set to continue rising, as households disposable income will be supported by easier fiscal stance and lower oil prices. While exports might lose some momentum, investment is expected to pick up.

来源:巴黎银行,作者:Paolo Ciocca,Simona Costagli
作者:Paolo

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