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The recovery in employment thanks to 439 thousand in 2022 in the first ten months of the year, the cut in the tax wedge by around 3 billion and the drop in the energy bill give hope for a good Christmas. This year, just over 50 billion of the thirteenth will enter the pockets of employees and pensioners and after having paid the many taxes and fixed costs that are concentrated in December (ICI, IMI, car tax, RAI license fee in addition to the costs for the energy bill) which this year amount to 7.9 billion, will leave 43.6 billion euros available, equal to 1,882 euros per family. An amount that can be dedicated to both gifts and consumption. Compared to 2019, the last pre-pandemic year, there remains only a difference of 50 euros due to high energy prices. These are the forecasts developed by the Confcommercio research office led by Mariano Bella. Among the positive signs are above all the increase in employment equal to 439 thousand workers in 2022 and +420 thousand in 2019 in the first 10 months in addition to new pensioners who have better contribution histories. «Employment growth, cuts in the tax and contribution wedge, slowdown in inflation strengthen confidence in Christmas consumption. Lower energy costs also contribute to reducing uncertainty for 2024, which will certainly be a challenging year especially due to the difficult international situation” comments Carlo Sangalli, president of Confcommercio.
Another positive element is the good result obtained during the Black Friday period which, as always, mainly rewards the online channel. Around 19.2 million Italians have or rather would have participated in this shopping ritual, with an average expenditure ranging between 220 and 230 euros. According to Confcommercio estimates, half of these purchases are Christmas gifts and «despite the substitution effect, a good black week is an excellent omen for overall consumption in December». At an economic level, 2023 saw a much faster recovery, with industrial production stopping falling and after August-September which was the best two-month period ever for tourist presences, to which is added the collapse of inflation of October and November.