MILAN — Italian women’s clothing turnover showed signs of recovery in the first four months of 2014 buoyed by export growth within the European Union, Pitti Immagine executives said Monday at a conference in Milan.
“Overall the first months of the year did not go badly,” said Pitti Imagine chief executive officer Raffaello Napoleone, speaking at a presentation of the Super accessories and apparel trade fair. “It was very positive in Europe, especially the U.K., Holland and Scandinavia.”
Export turnover within the E.U. rose 4 percent to 1.2 billion euros, or $1.5 billion at current exchange rates, with sales to the U.K. and to the Netherlands growing 16.8 percent and 8 percent, respectively, according to a study by clothing and textile federation Sistema Moda Italiana (SMI) based on data collected by Italian statistical agency ISTAT.
Overall turnover for Italian apparel, knits and leather garments increased 2.3 percent to 2.4 billion euros, or $3.1 billion, in January to April compared to the same period in 2013.
Last year, revenues for Italian women’s wear contracted 1 percent compared to the previous year, with total 2013 sales amounting to just under 12.2 billion euros, or $15.8 billion.
Export growth in the first four months of 2014 was also strong to the U.S., Hong Kong and China. The U.S., which is Italy’s fifth largest export market, saw turnover increase to $148 million, up 9.9 percent over the January to April period in 2013.
Overall turnover for Italian apparel was weighed down by double digit contraction in Russia, the Ukraine and Japan.
Russia, Italy’s second largest export market after France, offered a particularly hard blow with exports falling 11.3 percent to 240 million euros, or $311 million, compared to the first four months of 2013.