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2017 OECD Economic Surveys: Italy 2017

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Italy 2017

Italy is recovering from a deep and long recession. Structural reforms, accommodative monetary and fiscal conditions, and low commodity prices have helped the economy to turn the corner. The Jobs Act, part of a wide and ambitious structural reform programme, and social security contribution exemptions have improved the labour market and raised employment. Yet, the recovery remains weak and productivity continues to decline. Returning the banking system to health will be crucial to revive growth and private investment. More investment in infrastructure will be essential to raise productivity. The government has made significant progress on tackling structural impediments to growth and productivity. Yet public-administration inefficiencies, slow judicial processes, poorly designed regulation and weak competition still make it difficult to do business in Italy. Labour and capital resources are trapped in low-productivity firms, which hold down wages and well-being. Innovative start-ups and SMEs continue to suffer from difficult access to bank and equity finance. Literacy scores are low and job-skill mismatch is one of the highest among OECD countries, depressing earnings and well-being. Many workers are under-skilled in the jobs they hold, highlighting mismatches between workers skills and those required by employers. Improving the education system and labour market policies are crucial to raising real wages, job satisfaction and living standards. The Jobs Act and the Good School reform go in the right direction and need to be fully implemented.

SPECIAL FEATURES: RAISING INVESTMENT; ENHANCING SKILLS

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Basic statistics of Italy, 2015 or latest year available

(Numbers in parentheses refer to the OECD average)

This Survey is published on the responsibility of the Economic and Development Review Committee of the OECD, which is charged with the examination of the economic situation of member countries.The economic situation and policies of Italy were reviewed by the Committee on 11 January 2017. The draft was revised in the light of the discussions and given final approval as the agreed report of the whole Committee on 24 January 2017.The Secretariat’s draft report was prepared for the Committee by Mauro Pisu and Paula Garda under the direct supervision of Patrick Lenain and Asa Johansson, and the general supervision of Alvaro Pereira and Robert Ford. Statistical research assistance was provided by Damien Azzopardi and Milenko Fadic and administrative support by Brigitte Beyeler and Raquel Paramo.The Survey also benefitted from contributions by Dan Andrews, Silvia Appelt, David Bartolini, Piet Battiau, Fabio Berton, Bert Bryce, Joanne Caddy, Flippo Cavassini, Thomas Dannequin, Emma Duchini, Michael Hewetson, Nick Johnstone, Christine Lewis, Giorgia Maffini, Fabio Manca, Giuseppe Nicoletti, Marco Marchese, Dirk Pilat, Sebastian Schich, Kevin Shoom, Raffaele Trapasso, Mariagrazia Squicciarini, Litsa Vavakis, Gert Wehinger, Juan Yermo.The previous Survey of Italy was issued in February 2015.

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