The macroeconomic framework

In 2011, the global economy slowed down by more than one percentage point compared to 2010, with dynamics anchored to geographic segments, inflation that was lower and evident difficulties in the management of European public debt.

While the objective of East Asia to achieve a social and geographic balance also through monetary policies to control spending, considerably slowed down growth rates, in the United States the partial consolidation of growth was supported by vigorous, expansive fiscal policies. Japan was an exception however, where the expansive policy did not offset the negative effects of the earthquake.

Economic development in overall terms in the eurozone continued to be limited, despite the good performance of Germany. The financial crisis of peripheral countries had a negative impact on the economic cycle. The tough programmes to reduce sovereign debt were not accompanied by such a firm commitment to refinance, and this has led to market uncertainty concerning risk premium tensions.

Expansion in Italy has been minimal, affected by a downturn in the last quarter, due firstly to tax control measures adopted in market conditions that are negative - also because of difficulties over political credibility.

These measures have mainly had an impact on income, and a negative effect on consumer spending.