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Business statistics

Italy within the European context


In Europe there are approximately 44.6 private industry and service enterprises operating per 1,000 inhabitants with extremely different densities among Eu28 countries. Although the Italian economy was more heavily affected by the financial crisis compared to the average European partners, Italy remains in the top positions among the countries with the highest density of private production activities.

The fragmentation of the productive system is more evident in Italy, where the enterprise size is much smaller than the European average. Among the major economies, Germany and the United Kingdom show a prevalence of large enterprises and a lower share of self-employed, indicating a preference for joint stock corporate forms. In Italy, the vocation and role of entrepreneurs remain strong, with values more than double the Eu average and preceded only by Greece. In terms of enterprise birth and death rates there are wide gaps between Member States, with many Eastern European countries and Portugal recording high levels of gross turnover rate.

In general in Italy the productive system shows the same characteristics of some economies of the Mediterranean area, which remain closely linked to local forms of corporation, especially micro- and small service enterprises, while the presence of industry is stronger in Eastern Europe.

In 2012, Eu28 Member States produced an average of nearly 143 euros of added value per every 100 euros of labour cost. The indicator highlighted the difficult situation of Italian enterprises which obtained the third last positions in the Eu ranking with a loss of competitiveness equal to about 7 percent compared to 2001.The most competitive enterprises were located in Eastern Europe, where low salaries and low social security contributions resulted in a better ability to exploit low labour unit costs.