Italy did not have serious balance of payments problems since the mid-1970s. Exports soared since 1992, turning Italy's balance of payments positive. The growth in exports has been extremely strong in the northeast, where small and medium-sized companies produce high quality and low cost products—ranging from industrial machinery to ski boots—for French, German, Japanese, and Indian customers.
Italy had current account surpluses from 1993 to 1999, but in 2000 the country registered a $5.6 billion deficit, after an $8.2 billion surplus in 1999.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 2002 the purchasing power parity of Italy's exports was $259.2 billion while imports totaled $238.2 billion resulting in a trade surplus of $21 billion.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports that in 2001 Italy had exports of goods totaling $242.4 billion and imports totaling $226.6 billion. The services credit totaled $57.5 billion and debit $57.4 billion. The following table summarizes Italy's balance of payments as reported by the IMF for 2001 in millions of US dollars.
|Balance on goods||15,862|
|Balance on services||203|
|Balance on income||-10,280|
|Direct investment abroad||-21,758|
|Direct investment in Italy||14,874|
|Portfolio investment assets||-36,167|
|Portfolio investment liabilities||29,329|
|Other investment assets||717|
|Other investment liabilities||10,233|
|Net Errors and Omissions||1,940|
|Reserves and Related Items||588|