Debate on the major changes faced in the past decade by Italy’s manufacturing industry, is traditionally fairly rich. No final opinion has yet been formulated to lead the way forward, also due to sometimes conflicting economic indicators. The article seeks to provide an overall and integrated review of these indicators, with a focus on productivity and competitiveness, especially given the latest revisions made by the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT). The authors suggest that hard data have often resulted in an underestimation of Italian industry performance and that the indicators are likely to be further revised. Starting with the widening gap between constant and current prices Italy’s share on the world export market, we suggest that the incomplete adjustment of deflators for quality improvement tend to undervalue what is termed as an industrial and then productivity upgrading. This detail is not a negligible factor when called to evaluate the outlook for Italian enterprises beyond the current recession. Our analysis yields some confidence on the opportunity to further sustain an industrial model that, while fairly unconventional among the OECD countries, is not necessarily outdated.
Keywords: Produttività, competitività, economia industriale
Jel Code: E31, J24, L25, O47