In the manufacturing engine that is restarting the Tuscan economy, the strategic gear remains the fashion industry. It is this sector, formed by the ‘long’ production chains of textile-clothing, tanning-leather goods-footwear and jewelery, which caused the GDP of Tuscany to fall more than the Italian average in 2020 marked by the pandemic, and it is always the manufacture of fashion that is holding back the recovery in this 2021, however, studded with “plus” signs. This is certified by the Florentine branch of the Bank of Italy led by Mario Venturi in its economic update report.
“With the advancement of the vaccination campaign and the easing of restrictions, Tuscan economic activity recovered in the first nine months of 2021 – write the researchers led by Silvia Del Prete – although overall the pre-existing levels have not yet recovered. pandemic”. The Tuscan GDP grew by more than 6% in the first half, according to the indicator of the regional economy developed by the Bank of Italy, but with “a variation lower than that estimated for the whole country”. The gap is about one percentage point.
Growth was driven by exports, which have already exceeded pre-Covid levels (+ 38.5% on 2020 and + 4.9% on 2019 in the first half, net of precious metals and oil refining products). The recovery of Tuscany continued in the summer quarter, but now the expectations (and the unknowns) are for the next few weeks, between lockdowns that are returning to the world and tensions on prices (and availability) of raw materials, energy and logistics that they are already driving inflation.
The forecasts of the largest Tuscan companies (over 20 employees), interviewed by the Bank of Italy in late September-early October, indicate increases in turnover and investments in 2022, but a lot will depend precisely on the weight and duration of the exogenous obstacles. “The rebound of Tuscany for now is lower than what we would have expected after a fall as strong as that of 2020 – explains Del Prete – now investments are needed to accelerate and in this sense the resources of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan represent a big opportunity, both as a direct driving force for public investments and as a stimulus for private investments “.
The other factor considered decisive is the evolution of the health scenario which has direct effects on tourism and above all on the international one which is (was) prevalent here: the Americans are reappearing now, the Orientals are not yet there. In the first eight months of 2021, Tuscany still marks -44% in tourist presences compared to pre-Covid 2019. If international flows were to reappear, it would be a great damage.