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Macroeconomic aggregates describe the structure of a country's economy and measure its condition and ability to growth.
In 2018, in Italy, real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita grew by 1%, with a slowdown compared to 2017. Between 2008 and 2018, real GDP per capita fell by 5.2%. The share of final consumption expenditure to GDP, in 2018, showed a slight recovery compared to the previous year, while the share of gross fixed capital formation to GDP continued its growth, which began in 2015.
Between 2015 and 2018, labour productivity for the whole economy increased by 0.4%. However, in 2018 it decreased by 0.2%, due to a lower growth (+0.9%) of value added than that of labour input (+1.1%).
In 2019, the consumer prices’ average annual growth of the basket as a whole halved, compared to 2018 (+ 0.6% against + 1.2% in 2017 and 2018), with a gradual decrease throughout the year. The divisions (items of expenditure) of which prices, although increasing, recorded the most accentuated decelerations compared to 2018 were: “Transport”, “Housing, water, electricity and fuels”, “Other goods and services” and “Recreation, entertainment and culture”. The average annual decline in the prices of "Communications" widened.
In 2019, house prices decreased on annual basis by 0.1% as a result of opposite dynamics between the prices of existing dwellings that decreased by 0.4% and those of new dwellings that increased by 1.2%.
In 2018, Italy recorded an increase in the value in Euro of exports of goods (+ 3.1%) and, to a wider extent, of those imported (+ 5.6%). These dynamics determined a decrease in the trade surplus (8.7 billion less than in 2017) which, in 2018, amounted to 38.9 billion Euros. Net of energy products (electricity and fossil fuels), trade balance amounted to 80.3 billion Euros, slightly down in 2017 (-958 million). Italy's market share in world exports of goods went from 2.92% in 2017 to 2.85% in 2018.
The phase of deep recession Italy has experienced in recent years, starting from 2009, has brought real GDP per capita to a level similar to that recorded in 2006. In 2017, compared to 2007, it fell by 7.7% in the Centre-North, while in the South and Islands the fall was more intense (-10.7%). The territorial gap remained high. In 2017, the level of real GDP per capita in the South and Islands was 44.2% lower than in the Centre-North and 34.3% lower than the national average. The regions with the lowest GDP per capita were Calabria (€ 15,677) and Sicilia (€ 16,336), preceded by Puglia (€ 16,928) and Campania (€ 16,936). The Autonomous Province of Bolzano/Bozen (€ 38,439) and Lombardia (€ 35,234) had the highest values, followed by the Autonomous Province of Trento, Valle d'Aosta/Vallée d'Aoste and Emilia-Romagna, all with per capita GDP levels above 32 thousand Euros. In 2017, most of the regions showed a level of GDP per capita higher than in the previous year: Lombardia recorded the most marked increase (+2.6%). In contrast, the Autonomous Province of Bolzano/Bozen (-0.3%) showed a level of GDP per capita lower than that of 2016.
Also in 2016, Lombardia recorded the lowest value in the incidence of final domestic consumption relative to GDP (67.6%) and Calabria the highest value (118.7%). The incidence of consumption was always very high for the South and Islands, exceeding 100% in Calabria, Sicilia, Molise, Sardegna and Puglia. Consumption in volume was growing in all regions, with the exception of Molise and Sardegna. The Regions that recorded the highest growth of final domestic consumption were Lombardia and the Autonomous Province of Bolzano/Bozen: for both the increase was by 1.6%.
In 2016, the lowest share of gross fixed capital formation relative to GDP was recorded in Sicilia and the highest in the Autonomous Province of Bolzano/ Bozen. Liguria and the Autonomous Province of Trento recorded the highest growth rates of gross fixed capital formation in real terms. In 2016, labour productivity in the North-West remained unchanged, in all the other divisions decreased: the highest drop was in the South and Islands (-1,3%).
In 2019, consumer prices showed a limited increase in all the territorial divisions: slightly stronger than the national figure (+ 0.6%) in the North (+ 0.7%) and in the South and Islands (+ 0.7%), while it was weaker in the Centre (+ 0.5%). At a regional level, as in 2018, the Autonomous Province of Bolzano/Bozen, with + 1.3%, had the highest annual variation, while Sardegna had the lowest with + 0.2%.
In 2019, house prices showed very heterogeneous territorial trends: they grew in both regions of the North (+ 1.0% in the North-West and + 0.8% in the North-East) while they decreased in the Centre and in the South and Islands (-1.9% and -0.7%).
In 2018, the territorial origin of sales on foreign markets is strongly concentrated in central and northern regions, from which about 88.5% of national exports came. The regions with the highest export shares are: Lombardia (27.4%), Veneto and Emilia-Romagna (13.7%), Piemonte (10.4%) and Toscana (7.9%). Lombardia was also the region with the largest number of export operators (over 57 thousand).
GDP per capita measured in PPS (purchasing power standard) varies widely among the EU countries. In 2018, it ranged from 15,810 Euros in Bulgaria to 80,130 Euros in Luxembourg. However, in the last decade there has been a trend towards the convergence of GDP per capita: in general, the countries that in 2008 had the lowest levels were those in which GDP per capita has grown the most and vice versa. In this context, Italy showed a particularly negative performance: while in 2008 GDP per capita in PPS was 6.7% higher than the EU average, in 2018 it was below the average by 4.3%.
Between 2008 and 2018, in addition to the consistent growth that characterized the generality of the new entry countries, the significant performances of Ireland (+68.4%) and Germany (+23.8%) stood out; in the same period Greece and Cyprus had a decrease in GDP per capita (respectively -14% and -0.9%). In Italy GDP per capita, measured in PPS, increased by 6.3%.
In 2018, the share of final consumption expenditure to GDP in Italy (79.3%) was higher than the EU average (75.5%). Instead, the share of gross fixed capital formation relative to GDP (17.7%) was lower than the EU average (20.4%). The EU countries, with the exception of Estonia, Hungary, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Malta, Luxembourg and Ireland, recorded a share of final consumption expenditure to GDP over 70%.
In 2018, the share of gross fixed capital formation to GDP in EU countries varied between the minimum in Greece (11.1%) and the maximum in Sweden (25.9%). Hungary and Latvia increased real gross fixed capital formation by more than 15% compared to 2017. Among the larger countries, Spain showed the fastest growth (5.3%) while the United Kingdom recorded a negative change (-0.1%).
Between 2015 and 2018, Italy did not record any growth in labour productivity. This performance was poorer than that of the European Union as a whole (+2.9%) and also than that of the main European countries.
The harmonized index of consumer prices showed that Italy, in 2019, had one of the lowest inflation rates in the European Union (+ 0.6%), holding the fourth position in the ranking followed by Portugal, Greece and Cyprus. The differential, with respect to the average of the countries of the Monetary Union, decreased from + 0.6% in 2018 to + 0.4% in 2019.
In 2019, house prices increased in all EU countries with the exception of Italy, where they showed a slight decline (-0.1%). The greatest increases, over ten percentage points, were recorded in Hungary (+ 15.2%) and Luxembourg (+ 10.1%).
Germany and France are confirmed, in 2018, as the main European markets for sales of Italian goods, with shares equal to 12.6% and 10.5% of national exports, respectively; followed by Spain (5.2%) and the United Kingdom (5.1%). In the same year, the most exported products from Italy to the EU countries were pharmaceutical preparations (13,198 million Euros), motor vehicles (13,146 million), other parts and accessories for motor vehicles (9,754 million) and basic iron and steel and ferro-alloys (7,405 million).