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Export forecast SACE - 12 June 2018

Italian Exports Continue to Grow (+ 5.8% in 2018 and + 4.5% in the next three years)

Despite uncertainties, the future awaiting Italian exports in the next four years is one of growth and opportunity. Backed by the marked development in the past ten years and excellent performance in 2017, Italian exports have all the potential to keep growing and seizing the opportunities presented by the foreign markets, even in a highly complex context.


This is the picture drawn by “Keep Calm & Made in Italy”, the latest Export Report of the SACE SIMEST Hub, presented today in Milan.


The study, which includes projections for Italian exports in 2018-2021 by country and sector and provides details on the global phenomena of greatest impact, projects a picture of guarded optimism for our exporting companies and devotes an in-depth look at the infrastructure sector, the key to bolstering Italy's international penetration.


“The brilliant performance of Italian exports in 2017 is not an isolated victory but confirmation of the strength of our exports, which since the crisis of 2008 have adjusted, improved in quality, focused in specialization, and are increasingly oriented toward markets of greatest potential, stated SACE Chairman Beniamino Quintieri. "For 2018 we predict a 5.8% increase in Italian exports, a positive trend that will continue into the following three years at an average annual rate of 4.5%: a true ‘national heritage’, exports will continue to make a decisive contribution to the growth of the country”.


“The uncertainty and unpredictability characterizing the markets at this moment in history are important, but we must get used to considering them the new normal," explained Roberta Marracino, SACE's Research and Communication Area Manager. “These are factors of complexity that must be confronted without alarm and without losing sight of the existing opportunities in the foreign markets and the priorities to capture. Among these, investments in infrastructure, especially in ports, shipping and intermodal transport, are essential for an economy that bases more than 30% of its GDP on exports, and they could enable us to recover € 70 billion in exports each year.”

Italian Exports | The forecasts for 2018-2021

After a brilliant performance in 2017 (+ 7.4%), Italian exports will continue to advance in 2018 (+ 5.8%) and in the following three years 2019-2021 (+ 4.5% annual average), approaching € 500 billion in 2019 and exceeding 540 billion in 2021. Exports of services will also grow and in the projection range could reach € 116 billion.


In this context, barring unforeseen circumstances, Italian companies will be able to rely on various certainties: a recovery of investments, accompanied by rising commodity prices; trade agreements of the European Union with Canada, Mexico, the Mercosur countries, Japan, India and ASEAN countries; and the high quality of Made in Italy, which makes our exports less susceptible to price competition.


The greatest uncertainties concern the pressures on exchange rates, where a euro-dollar ratio above 1.3 could negatively impact the competitiveness of our exports, the evolution of the global value chains, with the policies of import substitution in key markets like China, India and the United States, which might affect the opportunities for Italian exports, and the risks of rising protectionism, the source of greatest concern.


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