Confindustria Cultura Italiana, the Italian federation of the cultural industries
Some of the most daunting pandemic numbers yet released to describe the crisis’ impact on a market’s creative industries have arrived from Italy’s Confindustria Cultura Italia (ICC), the cultural industry federation.
core EU economy; strong services, manufacturing, and tourism sectors; hard hit by COVID-19 disruptions but starting to recover; large EU exporter but data skews due to inflated port entry valuation; corruption somewhat stymies foreign direct investment
Developed industrial north that manufactures high-quality consumer goods and a less-developed agricultural south with high unemployment and underdevelopment; challenged by world’s third-highest public debt, dissent on eurozone membership, a sluggish judicial system, and a weak banking sector.
Economy – overview:
Italy’s economy comprises a developed industrial north, dominated by private companies, and a less-developed, highly subsidized, agricultural south, with a legacy of unemployment and underdevelopment. The Italian economy is driven in large part by the manufacture of high-quality consumer goods produced by small and medium-sized enterprises, many of them family-owned. Italy also has a sizable underground economy, which by some estimates accounts for as much as 17% of GDP. These activities are most common within the agriculture, construction, and service sectors.
Italy is the third-largest economy in the euro zone, but its exceptionally high public debt and structural impediments to growth have rendered it vulnerable to scrutiny by financial markets. Public debt has increased steadily since 2007, reaching 131% of GDP in 2017. Investor concerns about Italy and the broader euro-zone crisis eased in 2013, bringing down Italy’s borrowing costs on sovereign government debt from euro-era records. The government still faces pressure from investors and European partners to sustain its efforts to address Italy’s longstanding structural economic problems, including labor market inefficiencies, a sluggish judicial system, and a weak banking sector. Italy’s economy returned to modest growth in late 2014 for the first time since 2011. In 2015-16, Italy’s economy grew at about 1% each year, and in 2017 growth accelerated to 1.5% of GDP. In 2017, overall unemployment was 11.4%, but youth unemployment remained high at 37.1%. GDP growth is projected to slow slightly in 2018.