Ignazio Visco: Speech - 27th ASSIOM FOREX Congress

Speech by Mr Ignazio Visco, Governor of the Bank of Italy, at the 27th Congress of ASSIOM FOREX (the Italian financial markets association), 6 February 2021.

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

Central bank speech  | 
11 February 2021
PDF full text
 |  16 pages

The economic situation and the outlook

The ongoing pandemic and the uncertainty over the public health, social and economic situation continue to affect consumption and investment decisions, with significant repercussions for the production system, employment and income. The marketing authorization of the first vaccines, granted at the end of 2020, gives hope that the health emergency can be countered effectively over the course of this year.

However, the risks for the coming months still appear very substantial. The main one is that the containment of COVID-19 may prove to be more difficult than expected. Moreover, it is not clear whether the changes that the pandemic has caused in consumer habits, in the organization of society and of production, and in the way people work will persist.

The G20's cooperative response has made it possible to limit the economic impact of the health emergency. Italy, which has taken over the G20 presidency for this year, will have the opportunity to work towards reaffirming a multilateral approach. Global economic activity will be supported by the latest expansionary measures adopted by some advanced countries and by China's robust recovery, which is also being facilitated by sizeable public investment. These factors, together with the agreement reached by the European Union and the United Kingdom last December, led the International Monetary Fund to revise its growth projections for the world economy for 2021 slightly upwards, to 5.5 per cent, after the contraction of 3.5 per cent recorded in 2020.