Confcommercio study: South increasingly in crisis loses ground from the rest of Italy

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In the last 25 years the share of GDP of the South of Italy has decreased and employment grows 4 times less than the national average. In 2020 wealth per capita in the South 18 thousand euros, over 34 thousand in the Center-North. Foreign tourists spend more in the Centre-North than in the South.

In the last 25 years, the reduction of the employed,as a consequence of the loss of population (especially youth, -1.6 million), and the long-term deficits – in particular excess of bureaucracy, widespread illegality, infrastructural deficiencies and lower quality of human capital – have, in fact, determined a continuous and progressive decline in the GDP produced by the South, further widening the gaps with the other areas of the country.

Between 1995 and 2020, in fact, the percentage weight of the wealth produced by this area on the total Italy has reduced from just over 24% to 22%, while the GDP per capita has always remained around half that of the North and in 2020 it was equal to 18,200 euros against 34,300 euros in the North-West and 32,900 euros in the North-East;

however, in 2020, the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the South was more contained than in the other areas of the country that suffered more from the blockade of production activities during the pandemic (GDP -8.4% against -9.1% in the North compared to 2019). But the fragility of the southern economy also emerges from the dynamics of the labor market which, between 1995 and 2019, recorded an employment growth 4 times lower than the national average (4.1% against 16.4%), with even greater distances than in the Central and Northern regions.

Not even the particular tourist vocation of the southern regions would seem to be of help to push the economy of this area, given that, even compared to a “normal” year like 2019, the consumption of foreign tourists in the South was much lower than what was spent in the Central and North-Eastern regions.

These are the main elements that emerge from an analysis by theConfcommercio Studies Office on economics and employment in the South from 1995 to today.