The economic data examined by the Acimall Research Office, the Confindustrial Association representing the woodworking technology companies, indicate that 2018 was also a positive year. After a 2017 that had closed with an excellent growth of 11.6% on 2016, the preliminary 2018 mark a good 9.5% compared to 2017.In fact, production reached 2,487 million euros, while exports also grew by 1,694 million euros, or 6.5% more.The figures for imports were also positive, confirming the good state of health of the Italian industry that uses technologies for wood and its derivatives: € 239 million, 27.9% more than the € 187 million in 2017. Positive also the trade balance with 1,445 million euros, + 3.8%.These positive results for the sector are undoubtedly also connected to government incentives for investments in production technologies and in the direction of “Industry 4.0“.
Data for the fourth quarter of 2018
The data for the fourth quarter of 2018, on the other hand, show a slight slowdown in orders for Italian machines and technologies.On the one hand, the Italian market sees an excellent 17.9% more compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, but on the other hand there is a contrast of 13.6% of orders from abroad, a figure that brings the overall trend of orders for the period October-December 2018 at minus 3.2%.Italy therefore continues to be characterized by a positive sign, while the uncertainty that appears on foreign scenarios, linked above all to Brexit and to trade relations between the US and China, leads foreign investors to greater caution.The turnover in the fourth quarter of 2018 is however definitely positive with an excellent 19.2% more than in the same period of 2017.Other data from the Acimall survey show that the order book is 3.7 months against the 4 months in the previous quarter, while the price change during the whole of 2018 was 1.1%, same value recorded in 2017.
The forecast survey
The forecast survey carried out by Acimall does not offer positive results, but instead reveals a bit of concern especially for the short term.With regard to the internal market, the uncertainty is due to the remodulation of the tax incentives for Industry 4.0 envisaged by the Budget Law 2019, plus the reduction of funds for the tax credit on research and development investments and the elimination of the “Super-depreciation“ device.Concerns relating to Brexit and trade relations between the USA and China remain on the foreign market.For 6% of the sample there will be an increase in the internal market while 63% believe that the situation will be rather stable and 31% expect a contraction instead. On the foreign side, 19% are optimistic, 18% pessimistic, while 63% believe in the stability of the situation.