We are ending a year 2021 that has been marked by progress in the fight against the pandemic. Advances, such as the deployment of vaccination, which have allowed the restrictions on mobility and activity to be lifted.
And, as a consequence of the above, 2021 has also meant the beginning of the economic recovery of our country, behind the shock suffered in 2020. Recovery that, on the other hand, would not have been possible without the important measures to support families and companies, through ERTE, financial solutions such as moratoriums on mortgages and consumption, or loans for companies partially guaranteed by the ICO.
And even though the recovery has not started as strong as we expected, has been gaining traction with very rapid and visible improvements in areas as relevant as the labor market and consumption.
But they have also appeared, in the latter part of the year, items of concern that we will follow closely in the next few months. In the first place, we must remain cautious with the evolution of the pandemic, since the epidemiological risk will still be present for some time. Second, we have also seen lhe appearance of tensions in the global supply due to the lack of capacity to respond to a very rapid recovery and intense demand. As a result, there have been bottlenecks in international trade and the increase in supply and energy prices, which has resulted in an upturn in inflation that we have not seen in our country since 1992. Although inflation is always a factor in Uncertainty, the central scenario of the main analysts is that we are facing a temporary rebound that will be diluted over the next few months as supply increases and demand returns to more normalized levels.
However, in 2022 we will have tailwinds to strengthen recovery. On the one hand, the support of the European Central Bank will continue, which will maintain an accommodative monetary policy while adapting to economic uncertainties. And, furthermore, European fund remittances must undoubtedly contribute to the recovery.
The European Next Generation funds are the great opportunity to absorb the costs of the economic reforms so often postponed (labor, education, pensions, etc.) and make investments in sustainability, digitization and territorial cohesion that modernize our economy and improve our competitiveness . Being aware that technically it has a great complexity, we have to make a great effort to speed up the deployment of these funds, improve execution ratios and ensure they target transformative projects. We will also have to make sure that the aid has the maximum capillarity and reaches the entire business fabric, in particular, SMEs, which, in our country, are the great generators of employment.
And, in this sense, banks can play a very important role when it comes to expediting the arrival of funds to SMEs by offering their ability to mobilize resources, additional financing and a powerful distribution network.
In the coming years we have the historic opportunity to emerge from this crisis with a transformation of our country, of reshape our economy and put it in a leadership position. Taking advantage of this opportunity depends on us, on our ability to understand changes, on our ability to adapt, on our decisions and on our commitment and work. And the effort is worth it.