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Italian Footwear Production Declines in 2023

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Italian footwear production faced a notable setback in 2023, experiencing an 8.6% decline to 148 million pairs. This downturn also contributed to a 5.3% decrease in the number of active companies in the sector, totaling 3,564. However, the industry maintained stable employment figures, with 73,639 individuals employed, marking a modest increase of 1.8% compared to the previous year.

Despite these challenges, the sector’s total turnover saw a slight uptick of 0.9% to 14.63 billion euros. This increase, however, was overshadowed by rising costs attributed to inflation.

Export figures offer a mixed picture, with a 1.1% year-over-year increase in value to 12.79 billion euros, including re-exported footwear. Conversely, imports experienced a decline of 3.5% year-over-year in value, amounting to 6.99 billion euros.

Giovanna Ceolini, President of the Italian Footwear association Assocalzaturifici, characterized the year as mixed, with robust performances in the first quarter followed by a progressive slowdown. Ceolini expressed concerns for 2024, anticipating further challenges, particularly in the first half of the year.

Data from the first ten months of 2023 indicates a significant slowdown in Italian footwear performance in key markets such as the US and Germany, experiencing declines of 20% and 7.8% year-over-year in volume, respectively. However, positive trends were observed in markets like China and the Emirates.

The Italian footwear industry faces ongoing challenges amidst shifting market dynamics, emphasizing the need for strategic adaptation and resilience in the coming years.

Source: La Conceria