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Betting on Italy

Summary:
Italy has endured more than two decades of slow economic growth and below-potential performance. But two factors now seem to be changing the game: the creation of a credible and effective government and a newfound willingness on the part of the EU to provide robust fiscal support. MILAN – On September 18, I had the privilege of participating in the National Meeting of the Cavalieri del Lavoro, Italy’s federation of business elites, where 25 entrepreneurs are recognized each year for their leadership, innovation, and contributions to society. The mood was strikingly upbeat. China's Risky Business Crackdown Qilai Shen/In Pictures via Getty Images

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Italy has endured more than two decades of slow economic growth and below-potential performance. But two factors now seem to be changing the game: the creation of a credible and effective government and a newfound willingness on the part of the EU to provide robust fiscal support.

MILAN – On September 18, I had the privilege of participating in the National Meeting of the Cavalieri del Lavoro, Italy’s federation of business elites, where 25 entrepreneurs are recognized each year for their leadership, innovation, and contributions to society. The mood was strikingly upbeat.

Optimism about Italy’s economic prospects – ranging from cautious to almost giddy – is not confined to this group. Nor is it difficult to identify what is driving the upbeat sentiment. But it does come at an unusual time. After all, the global economy is struggling not only to recover from the pandemic shock, but also to adapt to a difficult new normal, characterized by climate headwinds, supply-chain congestion, and rising geopolitical tensions.

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Michael Spence
Nobel Prize in economics, Economics professor at Stern School of Business NYU, author of The Next Convergence

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