Even if Italy’s draconian steps to curb the spread of coronavirus prove successful, they’ll leave an economy in tatters, with small and medium-scaled enterprises the hardest hit.
Responding to the spread of the disease in Europe’s worst affected nation, the government has blocked all non-essential travel and public gatherings until April 3 and closed schools and universities nationwide.
Most Italians are following his advice, with streets abandoned up and down the nation of 60 million people.
Daily output in the eurozone’s third-largest economy is about15% below its normal levels, based on economist Lorenzo Codogno. Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri warned Wednesday of a “significant fall” in the gross domestic product (GDP) this year.
Behind the figures are thousands of companies that risk closure as their crucial daily liquidity dries up, casting huge doubt on Gualtieri’s promise that “nobody will lose their job” due to the epidemic.
He also shuttered most shops, all firm departments not essential to manufacturing, as well as services, including hairdressers and beauty parlors.
Bars, restaurants, retail, and tourism are most likely the worst-affected sectors; however, companies of all types are suffering from the pain.
About 89% of Italians support the government’s lockdown, an opinion poll by the Ixe company showed this week, with 78% saying they would support even tougher measures.