Confindustria Moda's headquarters in Milan.

MILAN — Confindustria Moda, the Italian federation made up of around 67,000 companies in fashion, textiles and accessories, on Tuesday released preliminary figures that showed the sector’s revenues rising 0.9 percent in 2018.

According to research presented by Confindustria Moda president Claudio Marenzi, the industry closed last year with revenues of 95.7 billion euros. Although the growth rate was halved compared to the previous two-year period, exports of Italian fashion, textiles and accessories — including leather goods, eyewear, fur and jewelry — increased 2.6 percent in 2018 to reach a total of 63.4 billion euros. In particular, 52.8 percent of Italian companies’ exports were directed to non-European countries. While exports to the U.K. grew 6.5 percent in 2018, those to Switzerland registered a 14.2 percent increase. South Korea and China recorded the highest growth rates last year, with exports up 11.3 percent and 13.6 percent, respectively.

“The data is still positive, but we are seeing an overall economic slowdown,” Marenzi said. “We don’t need to panic, but we have to be aware of what’s going on. Especially because it’s becoming more and more complicated to make forecasts due to the instability in the markets.”

According to Marenzi, it’s key that the Italian government continues to support the sector with economic initiatives. For example, he cited the recent free trade agreements signed with Japan and Canada, enabling to significantly reduce custom duties.

“The Ministry of Economic Development has understood the importance of continuing to support the industry,” said Marenzi, referring to the results of the first meetings of the “Tavolo della Moda,” or roundtable on fashion. “They haven’t talked about numbers yet,” revealing that the value of the investment has not been disclosed.

During the press conference held at Confindustria Moda’s headquarters here, Marenzi also presented “Lo Stato della Moda,” a book prepared by the Italian federation’s research and study center that gives detailed data on the performance of the Italian fashion, textile and accessories industry in 2017. The book will be presented in its English version in Brussels at the European Parliament at the end of the year.