Italian textile industry back on growth track in 2017

Italian textile manufacturers made up some lost ground in 2017. The figures published on Tuesday at the opening of Milano Unica, the benchmark trade show for the Italian textile industry, being held at the Rho exhibition centre in Milan until 8th February, show that the industry has reversed the trend after a two-year decline.


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According to the estimates produced by the research centre of Sistema Moda Italia (SMI, Italian fashion's employers’ association), based on data from ISTAT, Italy's national statistical institute, in 2017 the revenue of the Italian textile industry was €7.94 billion, equivalent to a 1.3% growth, and to 15% of the country's total textile and apparel industry revenue.

The textile industry's trade surplus alone, worth an estimated €2.3 billion in 2017, "contributed by more than 25% to the trade surplus of [Italy's] entire textile and apparel sector," underlined the President of Milano Unica, Ercole Botto Poala.

"China and Hong Kong are now well-established as the leading markets for [Italy's] fabrics, and our exports to these countries grew by 12.4% in the first ten months of 2017. Exports to non-EU countries also increased, by 1.8%, while those towards the EU fell by 1.1%," added Botto Poala.

Italian fabrics enjoyed positive export sales towards the USA (+6.8%) and Spain (+7.7%), while exports towards the UK and Germany were weak (respectively -0.1% and -0.5%). Also down were exports to France (-1.6%) and Romania (-5.8%).

As for imports, those from mature markets, especially France, the USA and Spain, were down, while they were on the rise from Asian countries like Indonesia, China and Pakistan. "The quality of our imports has seemingly worsened. This also means that such countries have believed in the benefits of innovation well before [Italy]. This is something we ought to think about," said the President of SMI and Confindustria Moda, Claudio Marenzi.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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