Italian menswear industry forecasts 0.9% revenue rise in 2016, initial outlook for 2017 weak

According to estimates presented at Pitti Uomo 91 by Sistema Moda Italia (SMI), the Italian fashion and textile industry federation, Italian menswear is expected to close 2016 with a modest 0.9% revenue growth, reaching almost €9 billion. In 2015 revenue rose by 1.4%. The estimate reflects above all a slow-down in export sales, while the decrease in the Italian domestic demand's rate of decline seems to have chiefly benefited those businesses that are not exclusively focused on manufacturing.

Italian menswear is expected to close 2016 with a modest growth -
However, Italian manufacturing output in 2016, net of the sale of imported goods, is expected to post a marked recovery by rising 1.2%, compared to a 3.5% shortfall in 2015.

Over the same period, Italian export sales are forecasted to grow by 1.9%, for a value of nearly €5.8 billion. This increase is lower than the 2.3% rise recorded in 2015, chiefly owing to the performance in emerging countries, as well as to the weaker-than-expected trend of USA domestic demand.

Imports on the other hand are forecasted to buck the trend and fall by 0.5%, for a total value just below the €4 billion mark.

Geographically, exports and imports to/from the EU are both reportedly growing (+3.9%), while conversely the business with non-EU countries is expected to decline by 0.9% in both directions.

In Europe, the best revenue performances are expected to come from Germany (+7.1%), the UK (+7.7%), Spain (+13.5%) and Austria (+5.5%). France on the other hand, despite being once again Italian menswear's foremost market, accounting for 9.9% of worldwide revenue, is expected to decrease by 2%.

Outside the EU, the USA are set to slide again into third position overall, by losing 10% compared to 2015, after the first nine months of that year recorded a remarkable 16.2% increase. Asia on the other hand is very dynamic: Hong Kong and Japan are expected to grow by 14.6% and 11.3% respectively, with China up 5.6% and South Korea by 1.8% only. Menswear exports to Russia are instead declining, with an expected 0.8% shortfall.  
According to a sample survey by SMI, 2017 has began weakly for Italian menswear: initial Spring/Summer 2017 orders are down both domestically (-4.3%) and internationally (-3.4%). Despite this, the companies within the SMI panel display a cautious optimism for 2017: 86% of them expect a "stable" economic situation compared to 2016, while the remaining 14% hope for an improved market performance.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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