As we wait for final figures, the Studies Office of Acimall – the Confindustria member association that represents the companies of this excellent “made in Italy” sector – estimates that production in 2016 amounted to 2,078 million euro, 11.5 percent more than 1,864 in 2015.
This percent variation is very similar to the result of 2015 versus 2014, when an 11.7 percent increase was recorded.
The growth of export was slower: in 2016, sales abroad amounted to 1,486 million euro, 5.1 percent more than in 2015, when export had grown much stronger by 12.7 percent versus 2014.
These are positive signs, compared to a domestic market that – driven by public incentives and measures to support industrial activity and, more in general, consumption – in 2016 amounted to 592 million euro, as much as 31.6 percent more than total sales on the domestic market in the previous year. So, growth endures and we are finally benefiting from an economic trend supported not only by our extraordinary propensity to export, but also by a domestic market that is much more willing to invest in instrumental goods.
The analysis by the Studies Office of Acimall also highlights further signals, namely a wider and wider gap between small businesses on one side and big companies on the other: current markets, following the transformations we all know, are rewarding bigger organizations, companies that can face the global scenario with an organic, systematic and consistent approach. To be honest, this trend has been clear for one decade at least, but probably, many companies have not paid the level of attention that, according to the analysts of the Confindustria member association, will be necessary in the future.
Nevertheless, preliminary 2016 results give reason for satisfaction and optimism, showing that the industry's record production levels, i.e. 2,159 million euro in 2007, are getting closer.
However, it will be more and more important to monitor the big destination markets of “made in Italy” woodworking technology. First of all countries like Russia and Brazil, currently characterized by “complicated” economic, political and financial conditions, but also increasing competition from China in South-East Asia or stability in the United States, a customer that in recent years had increased its orders to Italian companies by 40 percent.