Sep 11, 2014
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Weaker than expected recovery in 2014 for Italian fashion

Sep 11, 2014

"The situation is complex, but potentially a positive one.” That’s how Mario Boselli, President of Camera della Moda, phrased it in commenting on the fragile recovery of the Italian fashion industry, which has finally signaled an upward trend reversal in 2014 after two consecutive years of declines, but which is still hampered, however, by sluggish demand on the domestic market.

Dolce & Gabbana’s Milan spring/summer 2014 fashion show (Photo: PixelFormula)

"In late June, we forecasted 5% growth for 2014. In the end, we must content ourselves with a +4.2%. Exports have held up. The problem is the domestic market, which has remained flat. Fortunately, the euro has fallen below the $1.30 threshold, making our businesses more competitive," said Boselli on Wednesday, September 10 in Milan, during a presentation of the upcoming fashion week’s agenda, which will runs from September 17 to 22.

Accord to forecasts in the report "Fashion Economic Trends”, put together by Hermes Lab for the Camera della Moda, revenues in the textiles-clothing sector are expected to be 61.9 billion euros in 2014 as compared with 59.4 billion a year earlier, meaning a 4.2% increase as compared with 2013.

"Disappointing results for the second quarter of 2014 and increasing international tensions have led to slightly lowered expectations,” said the authors of the report, who foresee “modest, growth of approximately 1.2% n the Italian fashion industry for the first half of 2015."

In the first half of 2014, retail sales decreased by 1% in Italy as compared to the same period in 2013. Clothing recorded a smaller decline of 0.4% (+0.2% for footwear and leatherwear).

Exports proved more than ever to be the source of Italian companies’ success, with France as the largest market for Italian fashion, followed by Germany, Switzerland and the United States. According to study estimates, textile-clothing exports should rise further from 45.2 billion euros in 2013 (4.3%) to 47.4 billion in 2014 (4.8%).

Between January and April 2014, Italian exports rose by 5%, especially in the European Union (+7%) and the UK (+13.6%). The same positive trend was seen in the United States (11.6%) and Hong Kong (9.6%), while sales to Russia and Japan both fell (-11% and -6%).

"Instability in Russia highlighted the weakness of the ruble, with a 10% devaluation over last year and 22% compared to 2012. These changes in exchange rates hinder investment decisions taken by Italian fashion companies in Russian distribution networks on the one hand, and from purchasing from Russian buyers on the other," the report said.

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