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Press release

The performance of manufacturing enterprises on foreign markets

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During the first half of 2012, a manufacturing firmĀ on two (49.8%) increased sales of its products on foreign markets compared to the same period of 2011.

The 51.5% of exporting firms with a low exposure in foreign markets (i.e. that export less than 25% of total sales) increased exports, while the percentage of growth units is reduced to 47.4% among the firms with a high exposure (with an export share on total sales of more than 75%).

The exports grew more (+9%) for enterprises less exposed abroad, while for those heavily exposed the increase is limited to 0.2%.

The presence of growing enterprises is higher (53.2%) among the units exporting in non-EU countries and lower (44.8%) among those oriented to EU markets.

The frequency of growing business units is 48.7% for micro enterprises (1-9 employees), 49.9% for small enterprises (10-49 employees), 51.4% for medium-sized (50 -249 employees) and to 48.9% for large ones.

In terms of sectors, exports increased in 51.2% of the units belonging to specialized suppliers, in 49.4% of firms in traditional manufacturing, 49.3% in scale intensive sectors and in 47.5% of high-tech enterprises.

In the first half of 2012 compared to the same period of 2011, the value of exports of incumbent manufacturing firms in foreign markets increased by 1.4%. This result is a combination of an increase of 12.8% due to growing units and a decrease of 11, 4% due to the declining ones.

According to the size of the business unit, the best performance is achieved by medium-sized enterprises (+1.9%), the worst by micro-enterprises (-1.3%).

The export growth in value of the panel firms is markedly different from EU markets (-1.1%) and non-EU (+5.2%).

The best results in terms of export growth are found in high-tech sectors (+3.8%), followed by traditional manufacturing (+2.2%) and by the scale intensive sectors (+1.7 %). The specialized suppliers show a drop of 0.8%.

The higher frequencies of growing businesses are found among the units exporting in Japan, U.S.A., Russia, the lowest are concentrated among firms exporting in Spain and Greece.

We consider a balanced panel of about 45,000 manufacturing firms constantly active in international markets. They represent 96% of the exports of all manufacturing firms and the 77.5% of the total national exports in 2010 and the 75,3% in 2012. They cover the 83.3% of the persons employed in manufacturing exporting firms and 55% of total employment in the Italian manufacturing industry (year 2010).

For information:

Foreign trade and enterprise international activity

Filippo Oropallo
phone +39 06 46732569
oropallo@istat.it

Reference period: First semester 2012

Date of Issue: 22 October 2012

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