The Italian construction sector’s gross value added (GVA) accounted for 16.7% of Italy’s 2018 GDP, making it one of the most important sectors in the national economy. However, by 2018 the construction sector experienced a steep decline compared with 2010, reflected by the decrease of its total added value and turnover value.
There are several crucial issues hindering the sustainable development of the Italian construction industry. Firstly, access to finance has been excessively limited, with outstanding loans to the construction sector declining by 46.0% between 2010 and 2018 (from EUR 170.6 billion to EUR 92.1 billion). Secondly, late payment continues to be a prominent issue for the sector, raising questions about the liquidity of the sector. Thirdly, despite a moderate increase in labour productivity in recent years, productivity levels are still far below the EU-28 average.
Challenging business environment, inefficiencies in public administration and fragile institutional structures are the factors impeding potential improvements in labour productivity. However, some initiatives aiming to foster the digitalisation of the sector (through e.g. BIM) may help the Italian sector produce more efficiently. In this regard, the use of BIM technologies is growing in the sector and will become mandatory for all projects by 2022.
Rising investments in R&D is one of the prominent factors contributing towards the growth in innovation and sustainable construction among Italian companies.