Sales of counterfeit Italian goods are taking a 1%–2% bite out of Italy's GDP, according to a recent OECD report. These counterfeit and pirated goods (including luxury handbags, watches, car parts, and more) are estimated to total over €35 billion in 2013 — nearly 5% of global Italian manufacturing sales. The report, "Trade in Counterfeit Goods and the Italian Economy," found that Italian companies lost more than €25 billion in sales.
Imports of fake products into Italy are also an issue — with more than €10 billion worth of products in 2013 mostly imported from China and Hong Kong. High-tech electronic, electrical and optical products were the sectors most affected, with clothing, footwear, and leather products following.
The counterfeit trade and imports also impact the Italian job market. The OECD report found that at least 87,000 jobs were lost in Italy, which is about 2% of the Italy's full-time equivalent jobs.
Do purchasers of counterfeit and pirated items know what they're getting? The report found that about 50% of the goods were sold to knowing buyers, with purchasers of fake watches and IT and communications devices at a higher percent (60%).
You can download the full "Trade in Counterfeit Goods and the Italian Economy" report here.