Ignazio Visco: Overview of economic and financial developments in Italy

Concluding remarks by Mr Ignazio Visco, Governor of the Bank of Italy, at a meeting for the presentation of the Annual Report 2019 - 126th Financial Year, Bank of Italy, Rome, 29 May 2020.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
29 May 2020

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Since the beginning of the year, the rapid spread of the new coronavirus all over the world has led to an extremely serious public health emergency. Millions of people have been affected and hundreds of thousands have lost their lives. In order to contain the pandemic, it has been necessary to introduce drastic measures to curtail people's movements and social interaction, to suspend teaching in schools and universities, and to temporarily close down many productive activities. This is a crisis without parallel in recent history and it is putting the organization and resilience of the economy and society under severe strain.

The propagation of the virus has had serious financial repercussions, with a massive shift of funds towards assets deemed to be safer and an abrupt fall in market liquidity. The prices of oil, shares and the bonds of companies with lower credit ratings have plummeted. Sudden capital outflows have led to a marked depreciation in the currencies of the emerging economies. The risks of instability have greatly increased.