Italy’s construction industry suffered various headwinds in 2023, owing to the winding down of government-funded support for works in the residential sector.

In February 2023, the Italian government scrapped the tax credit scheme that was aimed at making homes more energy-efficient, amid warnings of dire effects on the construction industry.

The government reaffirmed in early September 2023 that it does not plan to extend the ‘Superbonus 110’ tax incentive programme, due to potential implications on public finances.

In late December 2023, however, the government agreed to partially extend the
costly Superbonus programme for low-income households who had not completed home renovations in 2023.

Despite the various headwinds, confidence in the construction industry remained positive in recent months, supported by investment in the transport and energy sector.

According to the Istituto Nazionale di Statistica (Istat), the business
confidence index in the construction industry grew by 4% year-on-year (YoY) in December 2023, preceded by YoY growth of 6.2% in November and 4% in October 2023.

The average business confidence index in the construction industry grew by 1.8% in
2023, rising from 158.6 in 2022 to 161.4 that year. This was preceded by annual growth of 4.2% in 2022.

According to the latest data published by the Istat, the construction production index in Italy grew by 1.7% YoY in October 2023, preceded by a muted performance in September and a YoY decline of 0.3% in August and 0.7% in July 2023.

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By GlobalData

Cumulatively, the average construction production index declined by 1.4% in the first ten months of 2023, falling from 136.2 during January-October 2022 to 134.3 during January-October 2023.

Italy, construction production index (2015=100, seasonally adjusted). Credit: GlobalData.

According to the Istat, the construction industry’s value add rose marginally by 0.2% YoY in the third quarter (Q3) of 2023, preceded by a YoY decline of 3.1% in Q2 and growth of 3.1% in Q1 2023.

In cumulative terms, the construction value add rose marginally by 0.02% in
first nine months of 2023.

Italy, construction value add (€ million, 2015 chained prices). Credit: GlobalData.

The underlying macroeconomic environment will continue to pose downside risks to the construction industry over the coming quarters, with high interest rates, falling manufacturing activities, slowing exports, falling construction employment, and falling residential permits.

Thus, GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, expects the construction industry in Italy to contract by 8.6% in 2024 and 2% in 2025.

However, over the long term, the construction industry’s growth will be supported by investments in transport, energy, and housing infrastructure projects.

In late November 2023, the Italian government’s cabinet approved a decree aimed at boosting renewable energy, improving the country’s energy security, and supporting energy-intensive businesses.