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Italian Economic Miracle
"''Il boom''", or the Italian economic miracle, was a period of phenomenal economic growth in Italy from the mid-1950s to the early-1970s during which the nation transformed from an agricultural-based economy into one of the world's most industrialized and wealthy nations.
The Historical and Economical background
The Fiat Cinquecento is a common symbol of Italy's economic miracle.
After the war, in the 1950s, Italy was left a poor and underdeveloped nation, compared to other European countries. "Il boom" saw Italy's modernization and development into one of the world's major economies. In the three years between 1959 and 1962, Italy's growth rates reached record values: 6.4%, 5.8%, 6.8% and 6.1% (respectively in 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1962). This mainly was due to the enterprise and foresight of many Italian entrepreneurs, and the discovery of methane and hydrocarbons in the Po valley, which allowed the rebirth of the Italian steel industry. The Italian steel industry was in some ways helped by the u.s. Marshall Plan aid, which helped rebuild basic factories.
The major impetus for this expansion came precisely from those areas which had achieved a level of technological development and product diversification that would enable them to hold Italy's entry into the Common Market. The industrial sector, from 1957-1960, recorded an average increase in production by 31.4%. The increased production was very significant in areas where large groups prevailed: cars 89%, 83% precision engineering, artificial fibers 66.8%. Also, the Korean War (1950-1953), (in which metal was needed for tanks and planes), provided Italy a further industrial and economic stimulus to grow. From 1964, the average growth rate was of +8% every year, and the first major industrial districts in northern cities, such as Milan, Genoa and Turin, started to expand and produce far more. Most of the major produce were fashionable shoes and clothing (mainly produced in Milan), typewriters (such as Olivetti), washing machines, cars (such as Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini, Maserati and Ferrari), machinery and petroleum. Italy began to stabilize its inputs and outputs, and even US President John F. Kennedy praised Italy's phenomenal economic growth at a dinner with Italian President Antonio Segni in Rome