BALANCE OF TRADE
Italy recorded a trade surplus of 1,907 EUR Million in April, 2013 as exports recovered and imports shrank. Total exports rose 4.4% yoy and imports declined 2.6%. The recovery in exports was broadly driven by the rise in shipments of pharmaceuticals products towards Belgium (+30.2%), Mercosur countries (+21.9%) and Asean countries (+19.1%). There was an increase in sales of pharmaceutical products, medicinal chemical and botanical products (+29.2%) and leather goods (+13.4%). Imports from OPEC countries (-34.0%), United States (-16.0%), and Switzerland (-7.9%) registered a sharp decline. With European Union countries, there was a trade surplus of € 441 million, narrowing from a surplus of € 650 million in April 2012. Exports to EU nations were up 3.1% yoy as Italy ...view middle of the document...
Main exports included precision machinery (18%); metals and metal products (13%); clothing and footwear (11%) and motor vehicles (10%). Main imports included fuel (17%), motor vehicles (10%), raw minerals (10%), chemicals and pharmaceuticals (9%) and electronic devices (8%). |
Italy's economy contracted by 0.6% in the first quarter of 2013 due to a weak domestic demand and also exports fell sharply and contributed to the overall fall in GDP. The 1.9% quarterly fall in exports was the steepest drop since the first quarter of 2009. GDP is more than 7% below its lowest level at the end of 2007, households' disposable income is down by more than 9%, industrial output is down by a quarter and hours worked are down 5.5%. Italy’s economy is forecasted to shrink by at least 1.5% this year following last year's 2.4% contraction, creating more problems for strained public finances.
The sharp fall in domestic demand in 2012 was due to the fall in households' real disposable which affected private consumption. Consumption fell until the end of 2012 and has stabilized a bit in 2013. This is due to firms resuming their investment plans already in late 2012 because of the recovering foreign demand and easing financing conditions but still construction investment continued to fall. The drop in domestic demand led to a significant fall in imports in 2012 followed by a mild recovery in 2013. The contribution of net exports to real GDP growth remained positive due to subdued imports and sustained demand from EU trade partners - Germany (13% of exports) and France (12%). Others include Spain, Netherlands and Belgium.
Italy’s PPP adjusted GDP share of world total was 2.51% in 2009 and is expected to be 2.12% in 2015 according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). But in 2011, the GDP value of Italy represented 3.54% of the world economy.