Translated by
Nicola Mira
Dec 15, 2021
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Italian fashion industry targets €82 billion revenue in 2021

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Dec 15, 2021

The Italian fashion industry is glimpsing some light at the end of the tunnel. According to the latest figures released by the Italian Fashion Chamber (CNMI), the revenue for the sector that includes textiles, apparel, accessories, jewellery and beauty products, is forecast to reach €82.85 billion in 2021, equivalent to a 20.5% rise year-on-year. However, the result would still remain below 2019, when revenue reached €90.2 billion, only to slump by 23.8% in 2020.

Carlo Capasa, president of CNMI - CNMI

“We have made up nearly €16 billion since the pandemic, but we are still missing €8 billion,” said Carlo Capasa, president of CNMI, speaking on Monday at a press conference for the presentation of next January’s Milan fashion week.

The Italian market recorded strong growth in this year’s first two quarters, with revenue up 24% in H1, but it is now plateauing out. It slowed down considerably between July and September, posting a sales rise in Q3 2021 of only 8.6% compared to the same period a year earlier.

A trend that was mirrored by the sector's exports, which boomed in H1 and then slowed down in Q3, though they were almost on par with their very high pre-pandemic levels. According to CNMI forecasts, Italian fashion industry exports will increase by 21% in 2021, reaching €67.9 billion. In 2019, they had been worth €71.5 billion, before falling by 21.5% the following year due to the pandemic.
In the first nine months of 2021, Italy's fashion exports rose by 15.7% towards the EU’s 27 countries, and by 18.2% towards the rest of the world. They skyrocketed in China, where they increased 55.2%, and rose by 31.2% in the USA and by 20.6% in Russia.
In parallel, imports fell by 2.7%, “chiefly due to the logistics and sourcing difficulties in non-European countries (imports from which fell by 13.2%) and especially China and South-East Asian countries (down 13.2%), also affecting sourcing for Italian markets,” as indicated by CNMI’s study. Conversely, CNMI noted that imports into Italy from other European countries grew by 12.7%.
“For 2021, Italian fashion industry imports are expected to reach €34.7 billion, compared to €39.2 billion in 2019. They have therefore shrunk by €5 billion, not just because of raw material sourcing issues in Asia and the rest of the world, but also because an increasing amount of textile manufacturing is being carried out in Italy,” said Capasa.

As a result, the sector’s trade surplus is expected to be €33.2 billion, the only 2021 figure to equal and in fact exceed the levels of 2019, when it had been worth €32.2 billion.
“Fashion is Italy’s second-largest manufacturing sector. It employs directly nearly 600,000 workers, and as many indirectly, through retail and related services. The collections of nearly all leading international labels are manufactured by our artisans,” said Capasa, underlining once more the Italian fashion industry’s vitality and the key role it plays in Europe.

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