Confindustria Moda staged its first plenary meeting in Milan on Wednesday. The fashion branch of the confederation of Italy’s industrial companies was founded in 2017 and, under the leadership of Claudio Marenzi, it brings together the associations of Italy’s textile, apparel and accessories manufacturers. At the meeting, Confindustria Moda published the sector’s annual results, which were rather stable in 2018 and, thanks to exports, more buoyant in early 2019.
Altogether, the Italian fashion industry generated a revenue of €95.5 billion in 2018, up by a mere 0.7% compared to 2017, driven once more and especially by exports.
In 2018, Italian fashion exports were worth €63.4 billion, equivalent to a 2.7% increase over the previous year. Textile/apparel sales accounted for nearly half of the sector’s international business, with a 49.6% share. They were followed by footwear and leather goods, respectively with a 15.1% and a 12.9% share, by fine and costume jewellery with 10.2%, eyewear and leather treatment (both with 6%) and fur products (1%).
In the same period, fashion imports into Italy recorded a remarkable 3.6% increase, though they were worth roughly half of exports, at €35.3 billion in 2018. This enabled the Italian fashion industry as a whole to post a €28.1 billion trade surplus (+1.5% compared to 2017). A figure that once again confirms the strength of Italy’s fashion exports, which were worth just a shade less than those by the mechanical engineering sector.
The trend was confirmed in the first three months of 2019, when fashion exports were higher than in the same period a year earlier. From January to March 2019, Italy’s textile/apparel/accessories exports increased by 5.6% to €16.6 billion, while imports were worth €9.1 billion (+2.3%), generating a trade surplus of €7.4 billion.
These results exceeded expectations, considering the current geopolitical and international trade tensions, especially those between the USA and China. However, this kind of instability could eventually hit exports, and the Italian fashion industry in general, which relies greatly on international markets.
The Confindustria Moda plenary meeting was the opportunity for the sector’s leading players to tackle several key issues, among them counterfeiting, sustainable development and industry training.
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