The endorsement letter for the 2019-2022 macroeconomic trend scenario transmitted on 22 March by the Ministry for the Economy and Finance and presented in the 2019 Economic and Financial Document (EFD), accompanied by an explanatory note, was published today on the website of the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO). The PBO had already issued its comments on a preliminary version of the trend forecasts. As required, the PBO will also assess the policy macroeconomic scenario contained in the EFD.
Taking due consideration of the uncertainty inherent in macroeconomic forecasts, the PBO has endorsed the trend scenario in the EFD, which for 2020 and 2021 reflects an increase in indirect taxes connected with the so-called safeguard clauses, as this appears plausible in light of the information currently available. The forecast for real GDP lies with an acceptable forecasting range, although it does diverge slightly from the upper bound of the forecasts prepared by the PBO panel (CER, Prometeia, Ref-Ricerche, as well as the PBO itself).
In any event, the PBO believes that the medium-term macroeconomic scenario for the Italian economy is exposed to substantial downside risks coming from the international and financial sector as well as from domestic factors. These risks are mainly associated with a further deterioration in international economic conditions, with an impact on foreign demand, to a weakening of supply and to possible negative financial shocks that could induce a rapid increase in the risk aversion of investors, which would affect the level of interest rates, especially for low-rated countries such as Italy.