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Italian exports to grow 11.3 pct in 2021, exceed pre-pandemic levels by 2024: report

Xinhua English


ROME, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Italian exports are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2021, and exceed them over the next three years, the country's Export Credit Agency (SACE) said on Tuesday.

In a report analyzing the key trends of the main exporting sectors, SACE forecast sales abroad to grow by 11.3 percent this year on an annual basis. Such rebound would be largely sustained by a "robust recovery" of global trade, and mainly led by the export of goods.

"In our basic scenario -- the most likely one -- Italian exports of goods in value will grow by 11.3 this year, up from our previous forecasts, and more than offsetting what was lost in 2020," it stated.

"This recovery will allow Italy to keep its share in the global market unchanged in 2021 ... Our exports' dynamics will remain -- in the following three years as well -- more pronounced compared to pre-pandemic rates."

In terms of value, Italy should export goods worth some 482 billion euros (569.7 billion U.S. dollars) this year, and were forecast to grow in value by 5.4 percent in 2022 and 4.1 percent in 2023.

Sales abroad in 2020 fell by 9.7 percent, despite a robust recovery in the last quarter, according to the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT). It was a sharp decline, considering they increased by 2.3 percent annually in 2019.

Thanks to the recovery projected for the next three years, SACE said the country's exports should reach 550 billion euros in 2024.

In some 15 countries, "sales of Italian goods are expected to recover swiftly as early as 2021, and with an intense dynamic in the following three years as well," according to the report.

This group included some of Italy's traditional reference markets such as Germany, the United States, and Switzerland, but also China, Canada, Japan, Poland, and the United Arab Emirates.

Despite the good performance overall, SACE warned the growth dynamics in different sectors of Italian exports would be varied in 2021, and remain so in the next three years. This is because the same sectors did not register an equal loss due to the pandemic in 2020.

"Exports of services will recover only partially (5.1 percent) this year, since they were most affected -- especially in the tourism component -- by the restrictive measures and the persistent uncertainty (of 2020)," SACE noted.

For services, the agency expected pre-pandemic exports levels to be fully restored in 2022. (1 euro = 1.18 U.S. dollars) Enditem