Since its entry into the Economic and Monetary Union, the Italian economy has entered a phase characterized by lack of dynamism, loss of competitiveness and unstable and discontinuous growth. In the decade 2000-11, the growth of Italian GDP was the lowest among European countries (0.4% on an annual average), also due to the international economic crisis of 2008-09, which led to the Italy a greater contraction of GDP and a slower recovery compared to other European economies ( Table 1). The poor economic growth of the last decade has been affected above all by the trend in manufacturing production which during the first years of the new century showed signs of weakness partly attributable to the increased competitive pressure of the large emerging economies which have a similar production specialization to the Italian one (textile processing, leather, furniture, food industry). Faced with the new competitive scenarios, Italian companies have tried to react by engaging in an effort to recover profitability and production efficiency by strengthening the processes of internationalization of production and sales and aiming at the diversification of markets. The 2008-09 recession, which came when this reorganization phase was still in progress, it accelerated competitive selection processes, causing marginal firms to be expelled from the market and thousands of jobs lost. In just over a year, between the second half of 2008 and the third quarter of 2009, industrial production lost a quarter of its value, and at the end of 2011 it was still below the level of ten years earlier. In just four years, between 2007 and 2011, the Italy it fell from fifth to eighth worldwide in terms of manufacturing production volume, while remaining, after Germany, the second largest industrial system in Europe. There was no lack of capacity to react positively to the crisis, especially on the part of a small group of companies, often not large in size (defined as pocket multinationals) that have managed to successfully reorganize themselves on an international scale and to achieve world leadership positions in some market niches. In any case, the industrial transformations induced by the crisis have led to significant changes in the structural composition of the Italian economy: between 2001 and 2011 the share of industry in the strict sense decreased from 21.7% to 17.1 % in terms of work units, while its contribution to the formation of national GDP fell by 3.7 percentage points in the same years, falling in 2011 to 15.9% (table 2). Similar decreases in the share of added value were also recorded for the agricultural and construction sectors (the latter, however, increased its impact on total employment). Symmetrically, the incidence of the tertiary sector increased, also affected by the crisis but to a more limited extent, which in 2011 generated 73.4% of the Italian GDP and employed 68.8% of the work units. On the demand side, the low growth profile of the Italian economy derives from the weakness of domestic spending, both of households, whose purchasing power has been reduced due to the crisis and the restrictive fiscal consolidation policies adopted in the end of the 2000s, both of that of public administrations, tab. 3). On the other hand, with reference to the external component of demand, Italian exports showed a significant loss of competitiveness, reflected by the contraction of their market share worldwide, which fell from 4.6% in 1995 to 2.9% in 2011, and which was affected by the more accentuated inflationary dynamics compared to the other European partners (between 2001 and 2011 prices increased in Italy at an average rate of 2.3% against 2.1% of the average for the countries of the euro zone and 1.7% of Germany), as well as the stagnant trend in factor productivity (which grew at an annual average rate of 0.1% between 2001 and 2011). The decline in competitiveness was also associated with the progressive deterioration of the Italian trade balance, basically in surplus until around 2005 but which in 2011 recorded a deficit corresponding to around 1% of GDP, and an increase in the current account deficit, which reached 3.3% of GDP in 2011. Against these deficits, the financial balance of the Italian balance of payments recorded net inflows of capital which contributed to the increase of the net debt of the Italy vis-à-vis the rest of the world, which in 2011 reached the value of 325 billion dollars (equal to 20.6% of GDP). The higher net debt of the Italy mainly derived from the subscriptions by foreign investors of Italian government bonds.