Measuring the heartbeat of the jewelry industry in Italy. This is the objective of the periodic survey of the Italian Goldsmiths’ Club, carried out by Intesa Sanpaolo, the largest Italian bank. And the fourth edition of the investigation, presented as part of Vicenzaoro, took a photograph in pink tones, the color of optimism as well as of the female world. In summary, 39% of the operators consulted in the survey expect an increase in turnover in 2023, more or less the same as at the end of 2022. Positive expectations also for investments, expected to grow by one operator out of three, with peaks of 42% for larger companies. As confirmation, the jewelry sector in the first six months of the year grew in terms of turnover (+10.2%), better than the fashion system and the Italian manufacturing average. And in the first five months of 2023, gold jewelry exports exceeded 4 billion euros, up 9% in value and 2% in quantity.
The June edition of the survey on the sentiment of entrepreneurs in the gold sector confirms once again the positive forecasts, especially for medium-large companies and for the foreign market. Despite the uncertainty, one out of three companies has decided to increase investments: with this, smaller companies aim to respond to the ever-changing competitive context. For medium-large companies, the inclination to invest is mainly linked to the evolution of international markets and to technological and machinery updating. In consideration of the dynamism of the Italian sector in this particular historical phase, with the questionnaire we wanted to investigate the distinctive characteristics of Made in Italy considered most important by entrepreneurs, and the mix that emerges is extremely interesting, as is the cross-reading with the the list of critical issues reported. This double level of interpretation strongly brings out a crucial theme: the challenge of the lack of skilled labor represents a critical issue that directly impacts on the very concept of Made in Italy. It is confirmed that it is essential to tackle this problem in a strategic and collaborative way, promoting adequate training and the development of skills, in order to preserve the identity and value of Italian excellence on the international scene.
Giorgio Villa, President of the Italian Goldsmiths’ Club
In short, Made in Italy jewelry is in good health. A success which, according to the companies questioned, derives from the quality of the product (74%), the craftsmanship of the production (66%) and the professionalism of the workforce, which represents a key factor for more than half of those who replied (51% ). But this is also the weak point: there is a shortage of qualified manpower. Finding labor is perceived as an obstacle by 75% of medium-large companies.
After the brilliant results of 2022 with growth in turnover and exports in the order of 20% and even in a context of economic slowdown, the Italian gold sector continues to show a positive trend in 2023 with growth in turnover in the first six months of 10%, better than what was recorded by the fashion system (+7.2%) and manufacturing as a whole (+3.0%); also in terms of production, the sector shows stability with a value in line with the first half of 2022. The high competitiveness on foreign markets is confirmed as the driving force of the sector: in the period January-May 2023, gold jewelery exports well over 4 billion euros, up 8.6% in value and +1.6% in quantity. In this particular competitive context, the positioning of the sector, more oriented towards the high-end segment, has confirmed itself as a strength capable of capturing the demand for luxury goods which is less affected by the effects of inflationary tensions with prospects that remain positive. The uncertainty in the scenario remains high, but this sector has shown a good ability to respond to external tensions thanks to a production system that has been able to transform itself over time, gaining competitiveness: to face the challenges of the near future it will be important to continue investing with interventions aimed at supporting sustainability in all its forms (economic, environmental and social).
Stefania Trenti, Head of Industry Research, Intesa Sanpaolo Studies and Research Department