The macroeconomic framework

In 2012, the slowdown in the world economy continued, at a rate of approximately 3%, with dynamics varying by geographic segment. Inflation was low in western countries, characterised by marked difficulties in managing European public debt and a fall in prices of non-oil based raw materials.
While the goal of achieving a social/geographic balance and the global world context caused a slowdown in the considerable growth rates of Eastern Asia, growth in the United States was still supported by strong tax policies and expansionary monetary policies, the consequences of which appear hard to remedy in the future, in terms of reducing public debt. Japan is an exception, which also has an expansionary policy despite its huge public debt.
The Eurozone recorded a slight fall in growth, despite the good performance of its leading nation, Germany, which benefited from concurrent low interest rates and a weak euro that favoured the trade balance. The financial crisis of peripheral countries had a negative impact on the economic cycle, and the first signs of investors' risk appetite picking up could only be seen after measures taken by the ECB in the last quarter of the year.
In Italy, the fall in GDP was significant: the hard-hitting measures taken for recovery reduced the spread between Italian and German debt, but also left their mark in the short term on consumer spending.