Italy Economy Overview
Italy is the eighth-largest economy in the world and currently enjoys a positive trade balance of $30.4 billion with annual exports of $540 billion against $509 billion of imports.
This guide provides an overview of Italy’s economy, including the country’s primary imports and exports.
Italy’s Top Exports
- Oil and mineral fuels – $18.8 billion
- Iron and steel – $15 billion
- Precious stones and metals – $12.6 million
- Gold – $2.24 billion
- Coffee – $1.71 billion
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Other Notable Exports
- Packaged medicaments – $20.2 billion
- Cars – $17.2 billion
- Vehicle parts – $15.2 billion
- Valves – $8.27 billion
- Leather Footwear – $7.87 billion
Over 63% of Italy’s exports are delivered to other European trade partners. The country’s top export destinations are Germany ($67.8 billion), France ($56.4 billion), the USA ($50.6 billion), Spain ($28 billion), and the United Kingdom ($27.7 billion).
Italy’s Top Imports
- Crude petroleum – $41.9 billion
- Petroleum gas – $18.2 billion
- Refined petroleum – $10.3 billion
- Electricity – $3.83 billion
- Hot-rolled iron – $3.83 billion
Other Notable Imports
- Cars – $32.4 billion
- Packaged medicaments – $16.9 billion
- Blood, antisera, vaccines, toxins, and cultures – $9.28 billion
- Vehicle parts – $8.54 billion
- Broadcasting Equipment – $8.29 billion
GDP of Italy
The latest reported figures (2018) show a GDP of $2.08 trillion for Italy, with a GDP per capita of $34,483. The country’s GDP showed a negative growth of -$13.1% between 2008 and 2018.
Details on Italy’s Imports/Exports
Italy is the twelfth-largest exporter with a 2.14% share of the global export market. Its annual refined petroleum export figure of $16.1 billion represents 2.99% of its total exports.
Italy is responsible for just 0.73% of the total global gold export market, with many countries like France and Indonesia on similar levels of market share.
Switzerland is the clear market leader with a 28% share. Ironically, Switzerland takes 65.6% of all Italy’s gold exports.
Italy is the second-largest exporter of olive oil with a 16.7% share. Spain is the top exporter with a 46.9% share of the global export market, with Greece ranked #3 at 13.4%.
Olive oil prices are normally at their lowest during December and January, which is the peak of the harvest season.
Olive oil prices for “Italian Olive Oil” can be almost double that of Spain, due to global demand for what consumers tend to view as a premium quality olive oil from Italy.
Italy is the sixth-largest exporter of coffee and has a 5.55% share of the global coffee export market worth an annual $30.9 billion.
More than 500 billion cups of coffee are consumed every year and 14 billion of those cups are Italian espressos.
Italy is the sixth-largest platinum exporting country in the world with a 5.64% share of the annual $32 billion global platinum export market.
Top destinations for Italy’s platinum are Germany (30.6%), Switzerland (14.6%), and the United Kingdom (13.8%).
Interesting Facts About Italy
- Almost four-fifths of the country is either mountainous or hilly.
- Italy suffers more earthquakes than any other European country and has the most volcanoes in Europe.
- Italy has only been a country for 153 years.
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Sources and Further Reading
- All figures are based on OEC 2018 calculations and projections unless otherwise stated.
- Learn more about the state of world government debt from our country debt clock pages.
- See our global economic indicator guide to more than 45 other countries.
- Get our full guide to trading commodities.
All currency is reported in US dollars.