Thank Goodness for Exports

Italy’s food and agriculture sector started 2013 continuing 2012’s performance, that is with a notable downturn in domestic consumption and increases in exports, as data from Ismea and Gfk-Eurisko on purchases for the first quarter of this year confirm. Spending on food continues to decrease with a -2.3% on the year, translating into -1.4% in volume. The discrepancy between the two values reflects the choices made by Italian consumers who have turned to more economical foods than in the past. Exports continue to boost the entire sector. Provisional statistics from Istat show growth of 6.6% (+6.9% food and +5.4% agricultural), with increases sustained primarily in countries outside of the EU.