Any superficial analysis may consider the consumer report “Coop Report 2016” — a dense document crisscrossing fresh data with in depth statistical studies — stuff for bookworms.
“In a country trapped in a cast, where recovery struggles to advance, the new Italians are born,” it says. Those are the disheartening starting words, branding today’s infants as only children of the recession. The consumption profiles at times of crisis are quite contradictory: We are certainly “poorer, more unequal, older and lonely,” but we also have become “greener and smarter, cleaner and healthier.”
In other words, those who can afford it focus on their own well-being, self-comforting narcissism as social therapy.
More Italians are also getting connected — 15 million smartphones were sold in the last year — and buying more online, saving up to €1,400 a year per family, thanks to free consumption (downloaded films and, alas, online newspapers).