Il sorpasso (economics)

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Il sorpasso ([il sorˈpasso]; Italian for "the overtaking") is a term used by Italian press and commentators to designate the 1987 Italy's overtaking of Britain's economy in nominal GDP terms.[1] Italy's per capita income was $15,120 by 1989, compared with Britain's $14,160 (and the USA's $20,630).[2] Italy was now the fourth largest economy in the world, after United States, Japan, West Germany . The United Kingdom regained its position over Italy in 1997.

In 2009, Britain was briefly overtaken by Italy for a second time, leading the Italian ambassador, Giancarlo Aragona, to talk of a secondo sorpasso.[3]

It has been also used to describe Italy being overtaken by Spain from 2016 onwards in PPP per capita terms and the narrowing gap in GDP and it's foreseen eventual overpass.[4]


  1. ^ Echikson, William (May 8, 1987). "Il sorpasso has Italians riding high". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  2. ^ Clark, Martin (2008). Modern Italy, 1871 to the present (3rd ed.). Harlow, England: Pearson Longman. p. 472. ISBN 978-1405823524.
  3. ^ Conway, Edmund; Porter, Andrew (23 October 2009). "UK economy overtaken by Italy". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  4. ^ Conway, Edmund; Cifoni, Luca (21 June 2018). "Spagna-Italia, il sorpasso in termini di ricchezza non c'è stato (ma Madrid corre di più)". Il Messaggero. Retrieved 21 December 2018.