The Italian fashion sector is recovering strongly and is once again one of the driving forces of the Italian economy. According to data released by Confindustria Moda, the first three months of 2022 closed with an increase in turnover of 19.3%, above expectations which stopped at an estimated growth of only 14%. A positive sign also for the current second quarter, for which an increase in sales of 12.9% is expected. An outlook that highlights the continuing upward trend but also the beginning of a slowdown due to the global economic situation.
The results come after a 2021 of gradual economic awakening, closing with an estimated turnover of EUR 91.7 billion (+22.2%) and an increase of EUR 16.7 billion over the 2020 pandemic year. However, still far from the pre-Covid levels: separating 2021 from 2019 there would still be a gap in the order of -6.4% (corresponding to -6.3 billion in absolute value).
Having started with high expectations, 2022 was soon marked by several negative factors and events. The war in Ukraine, rising commodity and energy prices, and the resurgence of the pandemic in China outline an international scenario full of unknowns, all of which contribute to hampering the sector’s recovery.
Based on the current forecasts, the first half of 2022 for Italian fashion, which includes textiles, clothing and accessories, should continue to grow, albeit more moderately. In fact, the increase is expected to be +16%.
According to the analysis of Confindustria Moda, only 8% of the companies surveyed recorded a positive sentiment on the sector’s economic trend, compared to 49% who are confident in the stability of the market and 43% who foresee a worsening. What worries the most are the repercussions of the increase in raw material and energy costs, further aggravated by the tensions of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, but already oppressive for companies.
With regard to increases in energy prices, 80% of the companies surveyed by the federation state that the impact will be strong, 18% expect a slight impact, while for only 2% of entrepreneurs this will be negligible. For raw materials, on the other hand, 9 out of 10 companies report substantial increases.