Italy’s economy aided by businesses pushed online by pandemic

 Italy’s economy aided by businesses pushed online by pandemic

Pierangelo Masciadri has been selling ties from his small atelier on the shores of Lake Como since the 1970s, but the pandemic has forced him to take his sales online.

As businesses across Europe closed their doors during last year’s lockdowns Masciadri, who has tens of thousands of customers around the world, including former US president Bill Clinton, set up shop on eBay. “It was quite a big revolution for my business,” Masciadri said.

“Who would have thought to learn what search engine optimisation was at the ripe old age of 70 . . . When the first order arrived, I couldn’t believe it was really happening.”

He is not alone. Italy’s booming goods exports have become a key driver of the country’s economic recovery from last year’s historic recession, fuelled by a rapid increase in businesses using digital technology.

By April, goods exports were 6 per cent above January 2020 levels — the…

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