Among the festive children and the mud angels with the tricolor in their hands who welcomed the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella to Romagna and the good news that the regional fund to collect aid for the flood emergency has already reached 30 million euros, The first certain and alarming data is also arriving on the economic impact that the May floods have on the affected area, one of the richest and most productive in the country.
Damage between 7 and 10 billion
The 79 municipalities of the Emilia-Romagna alluvial "crater" generated an added value of 38 billion euros in 2022, 24% of the regional GDP and 2.2% of the national one and should reach this year, according to Prometeia forecasts , 40 billion euros (with a 2023 growth of +0.7%). If the damage figures estimated by the Region are confirmed – at the moment it is calculated between 7 and 10 billion euros – the impact of the damage on the wealth of this area will exceed 20%.
The study center of Unioncamere Emilia-Romagna, led by Guido Caselli, does the math, thanks to the support of the Pablo information platform (Population, Employees, Financial Statements by Location), which crosses and declines a large amount of datasets with municipal details. "At the moment it is risky to put forward hypotheses on how much the damages will translate into lost points of added value, what appears certain is that the economic impact will be high and widespread in all economic sectors", underlines Caselli.
130,000 businesses in the affected area
The 79 Municipalities affected by overflowing of watercourses, floods and landslides - included in the two ministerial decrees of 23 and 25 May last - extend over 6,800 sq km (30% of the total regional territory) along the Via Emilia, where they live 1.164 million people (26% of the total inhabitants of the region) and where 130,000 businesses operate (active local units) which employ over 443,000 people. Industry accounts for more than 27% of the GDP in this area "and it's not just a question of small businesses, in the municipalities affected there are almost 200 large companies (over 50 million in turnover) - the study notes - and over 300 medium companies that work in close contact with the many small companies in the area, not only in agro-industry, mechanics or wood-furniture but in high tech such as fiber optics».
The repercussions will be felt at a national level in tourism (10% of those who work in beach establishments in Italy work here), in packaging machines (more than one Italian worker out of 6 is employed in the flooded municipalities), in upholstered furniture (one Italian out of eight). And even more marked will be the impact in minor manufacturing niches where the areas affected by bad weather nonetheless boast unique skills: the processing of poultry meat (the 4,500 employees concentrated around the Cesena poultry district account for 38% of all Italian employees in the sector ) with the entire chain of poultry farms upstream; of seed production (35% of the Italian total), seed oils and oleaginous fruits (28%), margarine (even 70%).