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Italy’s womenswear bucks trend

Oct 21, 2016
Italy’s womenswear bucks trend

Italy's womenswear turnover is growing despite global uncertainty. The numbers confirm it: companies in the sector (including apparel and outerwear, shirts and leather goods) ended 2015 with revenue of €12.8 billion, up 2.5 per cent versus the softer 1.4 per cent growth registered by menswear.

Women's fashion revenue accounted for 24.4 per cent of the entire turnover of the textile and fashion industry, and can be considered one of the feathers in the cap of its manufacturing industry. Foreign clients, who seem to be ever more appreciative of Made in Italy creations, know it.

Italy’s domestic demand is still falling, down 2.9 per cent in 2015, although slightly above 2014 levels. But foreign markets are buoying the sector: in 2015, exports rose 5 per cent in value, surpassing €7.7 billion. Exports account for 60.4 per cent of revenue in the sector and are generating a trade surplus of more than €3.4 billion.

Europe, the major customer for Italian women's fashion, is holding strong. Sales were up 4.9 per cent versus a tepid overall increase of 0.6 per cent in non-EU markets. Among these, Russia has been gaining some ground: after a disastrous 30% plunge last year, exports only fell by 4.6 per cent in 2016.