Battleship Italy weathers the storm

As summer approaches, stock markets corrected part of the rallies recorded since the beginning of the year, especially due to the increase of the trade tensions between the US and China, signs of a downturn in the American economy and the ongoing weakness of growth in Europe and Asia. Indicators show an economy which slows down instead of accelerating (dwindling sales in the semiconductor sector, the recent announcement of new production cuts in the EU on the part of large steel manufacturing groups and so on).
On the other hand, after a three-year upswing, during 2018 there has been a decrease in the production activity of the Italian manufacturing industry. And, as Confidustria remarks, since the recovery had been limited after ten years since the beginning of the international financial crisis, gaping wounds are still evident: in the gap between current production levels and those of the years before the crisis and in the constant reduction of the number of manufacturing industries. Meanwhile, the possibilities of expansion of production seem to be limited, in terms which are by now structural, by the weakness of the Italian demand, which in spite of a small recovery in the most recent years is still less dynamic than in the other main European countries.
In this picture, the positive performance of Italian exports in the first few months of 2019 is noteworthy, also thanks to the steps forward recorded in Germany (+0.7%) and France (+2.3%), that is, in the two min export markets for Italian products. It is also worth underlining the 17% increase recorded by the UK, our fifth market. The future in the medium term will probably remain positive for Italian exports, in spite of the uncertainties of the global scenarios, but companies will have to focus more on those countries which are setting up plans for industrial upgrade, improvement of infrastructures and urban development, with a greater opening towards foreign partnerships.