In 2019, the inflation rate in Italy stood at 0.6 percent. Between 2004 and 2019, the largest figure was recorded in 2008. When the financial crisis hit Italy, the inflation in the country reached 3.3 percent. The main way to measure inflation is to observe the movement of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI analyzes the changes in the prices of goods and services that households consume. Thus, an increase in CPI figures means a devaluation of the purchasing power in a given currency. In recent years, the CPI in Italy has increased. As of 2019, the value reached 102.9 against 100 in 2015.
The unemployment rate in Italy reached 9.9 percent in 2019, a decrease compared to previous years. On the other hand, the share of young unemployed people is three times higher. In 2019, about 29 percent of individuals aged 15 to 24 years were unemployed. Chronological data on youth unemployment rates reveal that between 2004 and 2007, the rate dropped by around 20 percent. The labor market crisis became more significant after 2008, when figures started to increase, amounting to 42.7 percent in 2013.
Italy is the ninth leading export country in the world. In 2018, the country registered an export value of approximately 547 billion U.S. dollars. Italy’s main trade partner is Germany, which accounted for 58 billion euros of the Italian export value, followed by France and the United States. The extractive industry, electrical equipment, and metals are among the main export sectors. In particular, the industry of coke and refined petroleum is the fastest growing exporting sector. Between 2017 and 2018, the exportation of these products rose by 12.5 percent.
In addition to these national accounts, other factors that need to be taken into consideration are untaxed economic activities. The shadow economy in Italy is worth roughly 192 billion euros, showing an increase compared to past years. The majority of this value comes from false declaration and illicit work. More specifically, in 2017 the value of the shadow economy derived from false declaration amounted to 97 billion euros, while illicit work generated a value of 78.7 billion euros.