Italy

HSBC Navigator provides comprehensive insight into the now, next and how for business, representing the views of over 9,100 business decision-makers across 35 markets. This report gives an understanding of how businesses like yours can continue to grow now and in the future.

Businesses upbeat despite leisurely pace of growth

GDP growth in Italy has remained modest over the last few years, yet Italian businesses are positive in their outlook1. While plans to increase government debt have caused concern among some commentators2, new finance minister Roberto Gualtieri has promised to pursue a "wise middle ground" between overstepping budget constraints agreed with the European Commission and increasing government spending to stimulate the country’s economy3.

State of play

New tech and new markets inspire business confidence

82% of Italian businesses expect to see growth in the next year – higher than the European average of 79%. While this is positive, compared with their global peers, Italian firms have a more subdued expectation about the level of growth they will see. Only 16% of businesses project growth of 15% or more, compared to 22% globally.

Investing in technology is considered the most important internal growth driver by 40% of businesses – notably more than the global average of 32%. Meanwhile, agile and resilient firms highlight breaking into new markets as vital for protecting and growing revenue. 

82 %

of Italian businesses expect to see growth in the next year

Expectations for future business growth

Expect sales to grow – Next year*
82%
Expect sales to grow – Next five years*
80%
Grow by 15% or more – Next year
16%
Grow by 15% or more – Next five years
17%
Grow by 6-14% – Next year
31%
Grow by 6-14% – Next five years
31%

Next year

Grow by 5% or less

35%

Stay the same 

10%

Expect sales to shrink  

8%

Next five years

Grow by 5% or less

31%

Stay the same

10%

Expect sales to shrink  

9%

*This is the sum of grow by 5% or less, 6-14%, 15% or more.

What you need to know

  1. 1

    Italian firms are feeling upbeat. More than four in five (82%) are projecting growth for their business in the next year.

  2. 2

    24% of Italian firms see a favourable regulatory/taxation environment as a key driver for growth, the second highest level in Europe.

  3. 3

    Nearly half (46%) of Italian companies expect to see cost reductions from making changes to their supply chain over the next three years.

What your business can do

  •  Invest in innovation, particularly digital/technology. This is seen as the best strategy to address threats to growth by 34% of Italian companies.

  • Expand into new markets. 32% of Italian businesses plan to grow internationally to mitigate for threats or potential declines.

  • Change to more international suppliers. The number of companies interested in this approach to changing supply chains has increased from 14% in 2018 to 21% in 2019.