MILAN (AFP) - Italy’s business lobby Confindustria said yesterday it forecasts a severe recession in 2020, with the country’s GDP dropping by six percent if the acute phase of the coronavirus outbreak is over by the end of May.
It said each additional week of a national lockdown could see Gross Domestic Product shrink by an additional 0.75 percentage points.
The government has announced a 25 billion euros aid package to support the economy and help Italians make up for lost income - a number that could be doubled.
The COVID-19 epidemic “has struck at the heart of the Italian economy”, Confindustria said.
Should the strict anti-contagion measures last until the end of May, the budget deficit would jump to 5.0 percent this year from 1.6 percent in 2019, while the accumulated public debt would skyrocket to 147 percent of GDP, compared to 134.8 percent last year, it said.“We must protect the productive and social fabric, workers, companies and families, with new strategies and instruments and without skimping on resources to guarantee future well-being,” the business lobby said.