The Italian Woodworking Machinery and Tools Manufacturers' Association (Acimall), says the fourth quarter of 2020 brought some optimism to an economic trend that has been really complicated due to the global pandemic.
In the last three months of 2020, Woodworking and furniture industry technology recorded 3.7 per cent growth in orders compared to the same period of 2019. Encouraging signals came from the domestic market, with a 7.3 per cent increase, stronger than the trend recorded by orders from international customers (up 4 per cent).
“There is no doubt that the final weeks of 2020 showed that the industry can face the current challenges, reaffirming its vocation to export and keeping a focus on the Italian market, which remains one of the most important and demanding on a global scale”, said Luigi De Vito, president of Acimall.
“Although the first weeks of this year are still showing an encouraging trend across the entire supply chain, we must be cautious and wait for the next quarters before we can say that the market is recovering. Significant support in this direction will certainly come from the Industry 4.0 transition plan and the extension of incentives to purchase new technology, deployed by the Italian government for the next two years”.
The quarterly survey by the Studies Office of Acimall on a statistic sample of companies indicates that the orders book is equal to 3.2 months (versus 3.1 in the previous quarter), with a price increase by 1.2 per cent since the beginning of 2020. Revenues increased by 17.2 per cent compared to Q4 2019.
Fifty per cent of the sample indicated a positive production trend, 6 per cent negative and 44 per cent stable. Employment is stable according to 78 per cent of the sample, decreasing for 6 per cent and increasing for 16 per cent. Available stocks are stable according to 56 per cent of the sample companies, increasing for 11 per cent and decreasing for 33 per cent.
Of note is that, according to the forecast survey, 50 per cent of the sample expect a stable trend for export, 39 per cent predict a consolidation of recovery and 11 per cent fear a reduction. Expectations for the Italian market are different: 45 per cent believe that business will grow further, 33 per cent expect a stable trend and 22 per cent see possible contraction ahead.