ISTAT: Italy’s exports surged 14.5 percent in March


Italy’s exports soared 14.5 percent in March compared to the same month last year, according to the national statistics agency ISTAT, led by a 15.1 percent rise in sales to non-EU countries.

The latest figures show Italy continues to have a large trade surplus, with exports outpacing imports by €5.4 billion in the first quarter. The net balance was €5.2 billion in the same period of 2016.

Last year Italy posted a global trade surplus of €51.6 billion, the highest for the country since the data series was established in 1991, ISTAT said.

Exports to Japan rose almost 10 percent last year, while those to China climbed 6.4 percent. In December, exports to China and the largest South American economies surged by 20 percent.
News about Italian fashion
An Italian extrusion machine for plastics. The country’s much-vaunted fashion industry does not top exports — instead the clear leader is machinery and vehicles with nearly 35 percent of the total.

In 2015 Italy ranked fifth among G20 countries in trade surplus of manufactured goods, excluding energy and minerals, with a net balance of €87 billion. It followed only China, Germany, South Korea and Japan on the list of nations with the largest trade surpluses.

Machinery and vehicles top the list of Italian exports in dollar value with almost 35 percent of the total, followed by pharmaceuticals (4.6 percent), plastics (4.1 percent), steel (3.5 percent), and furniture and lighting (2.8 percent). Clothing comes in at 2.6 percent of total exports, while shoes comprise 2.3 percent of all overseas shipments.

But recovery from prolonged recession in the Italian economy still poses a major challenge. The country continues to struggle with an uncertain political landscape and unclear economic reform plans along with very high unemployment among the youth and sluggish growth in domestic consumption.