The footwear industry is growing. Positive figures for the first quarter of 2023

The footwear industry is growing. Positive figures for the first quarter of 2023

Good news on the footwear industry front. According to the figures referring to the first quarter of 2023, the recovery continues, enjoying an increase in turnover by +13.6% compared to the same period of the previous year. The economic framework is provided by the Confindustria Fashion Studies Centre (Centro Studi di Confindustria Moda) for Assocalzaturifici, i.e. the Italian Association for Footwear Businesses, and it highlights an improvement of the trade balance by +21%.

According to Giovanna Ceolini, president of Assocalzaturifici, the increase in exports is also ongoing, marking a growth of +16.1%. The detail by product type shows heterogeneous trends: the division for shoes with leather uppers, the first in terms of importance with an impact of 63% of foreign sales in value, shows an increase in exports fort the first quarter both in value – slightly above average, by +18.6% - and in volume (+1.4%) compared to January-March 2022. Positive figures for the “Menswear” (+4.7% pairs globally) and “Womenswear” (+1.5% in quantity, with a +2.2% for walking shoes and a +4.2% for sandals) divisions.

At the local level, the significant performance of Milan should be highlighted; Milan shows in fact an average growth of +64% in the first quarter, becoming the leading exporting province for this industry, climbing over Florence (-11%). As a consequence, Lombardy, with +49.5%, climbed over Tuscany (-6%) in the export ranking by region, moving up to second place for the analyzed period behind Veneto, which shows a +12.6% growth. Apulia remains stable, while all the other areas with a footwear vocation showed a two-digit increase.

The recovery in the domestic market continues, with a +8.2% in expenditure for the purchases by households in January-March 2022.

Therefore, after the rebound recorded in 2021 and the further consolidation in 2022, which allowed this industry in its entirety to go back to the 2019 pre-Covid levels of turnover, the companies’ forecast for the revenues of the following quarters remains positive, despite the presence of an expected deceleration.

According to the manufacturers’ associations, the high costs for energy and raw materials are the biggest problem for the footwear industry at the moment, because of their huge impact on company budgets.

For entrepreneurs in the industry, moreover, the problem in recruiting skilled manpower is also significant.

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