Rome - “At last the relevant players (including the government) have taken notice: the Italian economy is slowing down, and a 1.5% GDP growth is not a realistic target for 2018.” This the analysis from an ‘observatory’ committee set up to look at transport by the Confcommercio-Conftrasporti federation, making the link between a slowdown in that sector and the overall economy of the country. Figures for motorway passenger traffic “show a significant slowdown: +0.6% was the figure recorded in the first quarter of the current year. In the second quarter of 2018 a 0.7% reduction is forecast. Road haulage of freight is also experiencing a slowdown,” the report also points out. Conversely, intermodality with a bias on rail seems set to continue.
In that transport segment “a slowing trend is observed both in passenger and freight transport, with a high rate of variation (over 3% for passengers, and about 6-7% for freight, over a three-month period)”. Ship and air transport of freight have also experienced a decline, leaving the road haulage segment with a significant share, estimated at 60%.
Confcommercio and Conftrasporto also reported how perceptions amongst road transport operators are in line with the sector’s performance data as ascertained by the Observatory. Already from Q3 in 2016, expectations on the part of business were at a standstill, and, overall, the percentage of pessimists exceeds that of optimists by 30%.
A positive note comes from gains in efficiency achieved by companies: although struggling with economic and financial difficulties, the proportion of firms with a more evolved structure (i.e. joint-stock companies) is on the increase.