Italy, Spain, Portugal - Over the course of 2016, WBA Aachener Werkzeugbau Akademie presents spotlights of the most important international tooling markets. This edition focuses on Italy, Spain and Portugal.
Italy, the boot-shaped country in southern Europe with 62 million citizens, is one of the most populated countries of the European Union. Estimations of the UN assume that the population will slightly decline to 59 million citizens by 2050. Spain is located in south-western Europe and has 47 million citizens, while Portugal, with 11 million citizens, is the westernmost country of continental Europe. By 2050, its population will slightly shrink to 9 million citizens. According to relevant income statistics, Italy belongs to the group of developed countries in the world. This is supported by important statistics in life expectancy and health. Italy, Spain and Portugal show deficits in their educational system and have been continuously occupying the lower ranks of the PISA Study since 2000. The statistics show that only 57% of the Italian population has a higher educational degree and less than 60% have access to the Internet. 55% of all Spanish adults have a higher educational qualification, while 38% of all Portuguese adults have a higher educational degree.
The Italian economy and the industry
Measured in terms of the gross domestic product (GDP), Italy is the ninth-largest economy in the world. The GDP per capita in 2015 was at €32,308. By comparison, the German GDP per capita in 2015 was €42,447. The majority of the economic power is located in the north. Italy possesses a network of roads, railway lines, airports and sea ports. However, the infrastructure is not as good as industrialised countries of comparable sizes and the energy supply in the country is not very reliable. The economy was struck by a recession and has shrunk by an average of -1.1% per year since 2010. Though the economic outlook for the 2016 is slightly positive with a projected growth rate of 1.5%, the recession has not yet abated. This is noticeable through the steady rate of unemployment of around 13%, where 61% of all unemployed citizens are classified as long-term unemployed. Italy is currently the world’s eighth-largest export and eleventh-largest import nation. In 2015, the country exported goods worth approximately €454.6bn. The income allocation is not evenly distributed; 20% of the wealthiest Italians earn six times as much as the poorest 20%. An employed citizen works on average of 1,762 hours per year, which is on par with the average of all industry nations.
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