Italian textile and garment export turnover dropped four per cent year-on-year to EUR44.08 billion in 2003, industry body Sistema Moda Italia (SMI) revealed this week.

According to SMI figures, the country's menswear industry suffered a turnover deficit of 1.3 per cent year-on-year to EUR7.5bn, while the sector registered a trade surplus of EUR12.43bn for the year compared to EUR13.4bn in 2002.

However, exports to key markets France and Switzerland were up by 3.5 per cent and 14.3 per cent year-on-year respectively, while imports fell by 2.3 per cent compared to the previous 12-month period.