The export of made in Italy exceeds one record after another and excels in Europe. In recent days Prometeia raised its growth forecasts for Italian GDP in 2021 to + 5.3%, while Istat and Eurostat today showed a 23.9% increase in exports compared to the first 5 months of last year. year, against increases of 15.6% for Germany and 15.9% for France, our main competitors in the European export championship.
This is not just a rebound compared to 2020, but a constant improvement in our foreign trade, starting from 2015, the result of some reforms and economic policies that have positively impacted our competitiveness and productivity and which will continue to play a decisive role. in our post Covid recovery.
The reform that has given the best results is the “Industry 4.0” Plan, which has allowed the Italian manufacturing industry to strengthen, modernize and become the first for added value and labor productivity growth among the G7 countries from 2015 onwards , and stimulate the export of Made in Italy, which has outclassed even that of Germany. These results have never occurred before in the fifteen years preceding the euro era and should make people think that Italy is doomed to decline. Few have realized that thanks to the stimuli of the Industry 4.0 Plan on our productive fabric of this plan, the gross fixed investments of the Italian manufacturing industry have grown in real terms in the four-year period 2015-2018 by an average annual 6.1 per cent, with peaks by 8 per cent on average per year in Veneto and Puglia, by 8.6 per cent in Lazio and by 10.5 per cent in Campania. All this has been reflected in a significant leap forward in our competitiveness which has pushed the growth of exports.
In fact, if we take the first 5 months of 2015 and the first 5 months of 2021 as the reference period, Italian exports have increased in value by more than 35 billion euros, i.e. by 20.9% more than the German one, and + 13.7%, of the disappointing one of France. In other words: for six years made in Italy has been much more competitive not only than Made in France but also and above all than Made in Germany.
The Italian sectors that have benefited most from the reforms and in the last six years have grown in the January-May period by more than the average of German exports are pharmaceutical exports, which increased by 74%; the food and beverage sector grew by 41.5%; chemical products, whose exports increased by 26%; base metals and metal products grew by 30.6%; articles in rubber and plastic materials by 22.5%. The rest of our traditional sectors, apart from textiles-clothing-leather and footwear (which suffered greatly from the drop in consumption caused by the pandemic), also performed as, or better, German exports. In fact, ceramics grew by 14.3% (+589 million), while furniture exports increased by 17.9%.
Another important element is the growth in exports in the first quarter of this year, to China which marks a +55.30% compared to the same period of 2020, followed by the European countries, the Netherlands and Poland, + 32.9% (compared to to 2020); France, + 23.2%; Spain, + 23%; Germany, + 22.6%; Belgium, + 14%), Switzerland (+ 20%) and the United States (+ 4.5%). Towards the United Kingdom (+ 2.6%), there is a slower trend, but the accumulation of pre-Brexit stocks can be a transitory reason.
The prospects for a recovery in world trade are solid according to Agenzia ICE. This edition of the Report reviews the Ice-Prometeia estimate on the trend of world imports, up to + 8.9% for this year and + 6.4% for 2022, at constant prices, confirming the recovery of pre-Covid levels by the end year.