On July 23rd, the 33rd ICE Report on "Italy in the international economy" and the "Yearbook on Foreign Trade and international business activities resulting from collaboration" were presented at the Royal Continental Hotel in Naples. The ICE Report is the main information and analysis tool on the competitive positioning of the Italian production system in the context of the global economy, while the Yearbook, fruit of the collaboration between the National Institute of Statistics and the ICE Agency, makes available to the economic operators a broad information base on trade in goods and services and on Italy's foreign direct investments.
In 2018, world trade in goods grew by 2.8% in terms of volumes and 9.8% in value compared to 2017. In this context, the value of Made in Italy has grown both for exports (+3.1%) than for imports (+ 5.6%). As a result, the trade surplus has decreased (-8.7 billion euros compared to 2017) and now sums up to 38.9 billion euros.
Italy's share of world exports decreased slightly (from 2.92% to 2.85%), especially in some areas (North Africa, Middle East and European Union) while it grew in Central Asia and in non-EU European countries. The main export markets for Made in Italy are Germany (with a share of 12.6%), France (10.5%), the United States (9.2%), Spain (5.2%) and the United Kingdom (5.1%). With regard to the product categories, the largest portion of exports is held by construction materials (25.82%); followed by leather (14.77%), cut and worked stones (14.11%), baked goods (12.08%) and leather goods, excluding clothing (11.07%).
The majority of Italian exporters (88.5%) are concentrated in the Center-North: Lombardy is the Italian region that exports the most, followed by Veneto, Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont. Sardinia's share of Italian exports is 1.2% in 2018. The Central-Northern regions also register the largest number of export-oriented operators. At national level, the gap between North and South Italy is confirmed.