Italian Good News: 2018, goodbye fear!

Jan 20, 2018 905

We asked the Italians what words they would best represent their expectations for the new year, and the result was very positive. Words such as "crisis" slip to the bottom of the classification replaced by optimism of expressions such as hope, recovery and change. And, together with the mood, they share consumption: +15.6% during Christmas time.

In 2016 and again in 2017,"hope" was the key word with which Italians had labelled the coming year, while 2018 was born under the sign of "well-being", a more concrete term on which Italians seem to focus their expectations. In the meantime "recovery", announced a year ago, has been consolidated, bringing "novelty" and even "satisfaction". The mood of Italians for 2018 gets better, at least according to the picture taken with the Coop-Nomisma end-of-year survey and consumption forecasts of the "Coop Report", drawn up by the Ancc-Coop Study Office (Association of National Cooperatives of Consumers) with the scientific collaboration of REF Research, the analysis support of Nielsen, and the original contributions of Iri Information Resources, GFK, Demos. Now in full version after the digital preview of last September (click here to download it).

Among the words with which the Italians describe the year that has just begun, the terms with a negative connotation such as "fear" and "crisis" back down (the other two keywords of 2017 indicated by more than 10% and 7.6% of the sample respectively, now both around 4.5%). Positive terms such as "recovery" (15.4%),"change" (15.1%),"well-being" (10.3%),"novelty" (7.9%). The over-50s believe in it more than the younger ones, less paid generations. And the Mezzogiorno (the Southern Italy) is the pioneer of the "recovery" (word that reaches 18% here).

The optimism is also demonstrated by the 2018 spending intentions, compared to 2017. All items are on the rise and the most growing sectors seem to be leisure, travel and personal pleasure. The old passion of Italians for their home is also back, and therefore there is an increase in spending on furniture, renovations and large household appliances. Consciously, then, Italians also increase their bills, utilities and health services among the items of expenditure.

On the other hand, 2017 had already proved to be better than expected on the consumption side, approaching a 1.5% growth, so there is good hope for 2018 thanks to an increase in the purchasing power of families, which should reach growth rates close to 1%. A half-full glass which, according to forecasts, will reach the audiovisual, computer and accessory sectors (+8.5% in 2018), telephones and equipment (+7.8%) and only partly food (+2.1%).

Good performance is expected for packaged consumer goods (+1.3%) and fresh fruit and vegetable products (+1.6%): on the other hand, the "no-food" sectors continued to show a negative trend (-3.7%). At the territorial level, the expected trend is that of a partial reversal of the trend compared to 2017: a phase in which the South outperformed the national average, with an increase in the most solid turnover in Northern Italy (+1.2% and +1.4% for the North-West and North-East areas).

Meanwhile, the year closed with a boom in sales under the tree and Christmas week saw a +15.6% (hyper + super Nielsen data for Coop) compared to the same week a year ago. More meat than fish, a lot of gastronomy and cheeses with Central and Southern Italy that still lead the ranking of purchases (Campania in the lead with a +16.2% followed by Molise, Umbria, Puglia). Against the trend, but justified by the Christmas effect, is also the figure of a +9.7% marked by the "no-food" sectors (games, electronics etc.).

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