• GDP nominal: 2,141 billion USD
  • Unemployment rate: 12.5%
  • Population: 61 million
  • Ease-of-doing-business rank: 45th

Italy is the 4th largest national economy in Europe and the 8th largest by nominal GDP in the world. Italy is regarded as one of the world's most industrialized nations and a leading country in world trade and exports.

Italy has been hit very hard by the great recession and the subsequent European sovereign-debt crisis that exacerbated the country's structural problems. The political efforts to revive growth with massive government spending eventually produced a severe rise in public debt, that stood at over 135% of GDP in 2014, ranking second in the EU only after the Greek one (at 174%).

A gaping North–South divide is a major factor of socio-economic weakness. It can be noted by the huge difference in income between the northern and southern regions and municipalities. The richest region, Lombardy, earns 127% of the national GDP per capita, while the poorest, Calabria, only 61%. The unemployment rate stands slightly above the Eurozone average, however, the average unemployment figure is 7.9% in the North and 20.2% in the South.


Direct Selling in Italy

  • GDP Growth Constant Local Currency 2014: -0.4%
  • YoY Industry Growth Constant USD 2014: 3.7%

Italy is the 4th largest economy of Europe and also the 4th biggest Direct Selling market in the region (Russia excluded) after Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. The Italian economy has had difficulties recovering from the recession of 2008 and unemployment remains at high levels.

Under these conditions Direct Selling is more than ever an answer to the millions of unemployed who see Direct Selling as a way to supplement their income. The Food and Beverage Category accounts for 15% of products sold through the channel, which is the world’s highest ratio and far outperforming the European average ratio (3%). Demand related to healthy food, beverages, and supplements has increased over the last few years.

Single-level marketing is still the major compensation structure in Italy but Multi-level marketing international companies are gradually entering the country and becoming increasingly popular.

Sources: ASENSHIA, World Bank, WFDSA, Euromonitor, Wikipedia

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