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Macroeconomic scenario for the jewellery sector

a speech by Stefania Trenti

The Italian jewellery sector in 2019

Positive turnover and production also in 2019

  • According to ISTAT data, production in the jewellery and bijoux sector recorded yet another considerable increase in the first 10 months of 2019: +19.5%, for the third year running. 
  • Turnover also increased considerably: +11.4% between January and October 2019. Turnover increased for the tenth year running.


Evolution in turnover and production in the jewellery sector (var.%)

Jewellery sector: ATECO code 32.1
*2018: January – November
Source: Intesa Sanpaolo,
Istat data processing

Price of gold is increasing

As of the month of May, considerable global economic uncertainty led to a significant increase in the price of gold which quickly exceeded 1,500 dollars an ounce between August and September. It then continued to stand at higher levels than the mean value in 2018.
On average in 2019, the price of gold increased by 15.9% in Euros and 9.7% in dollars. 

Monthly gold prices

Source: Intesa Sanpaolo processing on LME data

…with negative effects on global demand

Global demand for gold jewellery reacted rapidly to the new price scenario, recording a significant drop in the third quarter (-15.6%), particularly in two main markets (China and India) and in the Middle East.

Global demand for gold jewellery: trend var.% (tons)

Global demand for gold jewellery: trend var.% by nation

Source: Intesa Sanpaolo on World Gold Council data – Gold Demand Trends

Excellent performances for Italian exports

In the first nine months of 2019, gold jewellery exports grew by 12.1% in quantity and by 8.8% in value in Euros.

Evolution in gold jewellery exports (trend var.%)

* Codes HS 711319 for gold and other precious materials Source: Intesa Sanpaolo, Istat data processing

with widespread positive results on (almost) all markets

Evolution in Italian gold jewellery exports (trend var.%)

Codes HS 711319 for gold and other precious materials
Source: Intesa Sanpaolo, Istat data processing


…and districts

Provincial export figures are only available on a more aggregate level (including costume jewellery) and only in value (not in quantity).
All the districts registered positive development, with the best results in Arezzo. 

Italian jewellery and bijoux* in 2019 (var.%)
*Code 32.1 Source: ISTAT data processing


The success of luxury towed by Switzerland, France and Italy

Global gold jewellery export rates* (%)
N.B. Net of flows to and from the United Arab Emirates and between China and Hong Kong
*Code 711319 Source: processing on UNCTAD Comtrade data


Excellent results in the USA

USA gold jewellery import rates* (%)
*Code 711319 Source: processing on US Trade data

The prospects for the next few months

Global trade picking up but trends showing modest growth

Variations are calculated on the CPB monthly world trade index. The shaded area shows forecasts. Source: Intesa Sanpaolo data processing

Forecasts for 2021

  • Slight recovery in the first six months of 2020 but annual figure lower than 2019 due to a disadvantageous towing effect.
  • A slight acceleration (of annual data) expected in 2021, also due to trade agreements.

GDP growth forecasts

Source: Refinitiv-Datastream and Intesa Sanpaolo data processing

From Asia, the first signs of cycle stabilization

The OECD forecast indicator for China confirms the turnaround

Source: OECD

Global SME manufacturing benefits from the recovery of emerging countries

Source: IHS Markit

USA cycle: controlled slowdown 

Growth towards potential

Source: Refinitiv-Datastream

Manufacturing heading towards stabilization

Source: Refinitiv-Datastream

Consumers are optimistic

Growth in consumption sustained by solid ready income dynamics

Source: Refinitiv Datastream

Families are very optimistic

Source: Refinitiv Datastream

The employment market is the power towed by consumption: unemployment at its minimum since 1969

The unemployment rate is at a minimum since the end of 1969…

Source: Refinitiv Datastream

…with salary dynamics speeding up

Source: Refinitiv Datastream

Family budgets are in order at last

Salary and employment growth supports incomes and consumption

Source: Eurostat and Intesa Sanpaolo projections

Correct primary balance for the cycle: 2020 budgets show a modest slowdown (0.3% at the Eurozone level)

Source: European Commission


Foreign demand more favourable in 2020

In the Euro area, foreign demand should partially recover over the next few quarters

Source: Intesa Sanpaolo estimates and Oxford Economics

Italy: still modest growth

  • In 2020, we expect a slight acceleration to 0.3% (0.4% incorrect for working days) from 0.2% in 2019.
  • A growth of 0.5% expected in 2021.

GDP increasing in the last few quarters despite a drop in industrial activity

Source: Refinitiv-Datastream, Istat and Intesa Sanpaolo processing

Budget law: resources destined for VAT blockage

The latest modifications have seen an easing and deferral of the plastic tax until July, a postponement of the sugar tax until October and a substantial zeroing of the squeeze on company cars. The manoeuvre has risen to 32 billion.

Interventions (impact in billions on 2020)

Coverage (impact in billions on 2020)

Note: effect on net debt in billions
Source: Intesa Sanpaolo processing on DPB 2020

Steady consumption thanks to good ready income dynamics

The various GDP components contribution to growth

Source: Refinitiv-Datastream, Istat and Intesa Sanpaolo processing

Growth can begin again in the medium term

The drop in interest rates leads to savings for the State and a boost in GDP growth

The re-acceleration of monetary aggregates (whose turnaround has always preceded that of the cycle) is a hopeful sign of a future growth in GDP in the medium term

Note: cumulated effects on the GDP of a 100 base-point drop in returns on Government bonds in the medium to long term (more or less in line with that registered in the last 6 months) (% deviation from the baseline) and on PA expenditure due to interests (in % of GDP).

Source: Banca d’Italia, MEF, Intesa Sanpaolo processing

Precious material prices  

Geopolitical uncertainty should continue in 2020 to support the price of gold which, in our expectations, should continue on a consolidation course, remaining within the mean in 2020 at around 1,500$/troy ounce, with a potential risk of increase deriving from ample liquidity on the markets and expansive monetary policies in all areas.

Price of gold ($/troy ounce)

Source: processing on LME data

Euro in slight improvement against the USD within a 12-month horizon

Source: Intesa Sanpaolo

Important Information

The economists drafting this report state that the opinions, forecasts, and estimates contained herein are the result of independent and subjective evaluation of the data and information obtained and no part of their compensation has been, is, or will be directly or indirectly linked to the views expressed.

This report has been produced by Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources that Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. believes to be reliable, but it is not necessarily complete and its accuracy can in no way be guaranteed. This report has been prepared solely for information and illustrative purposes and is not intended in any way as an offer to enter into a contract or solicit the purchase or sale of any financial product. This report may only be reproduced in whole or in part citing the name Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A.

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