The 2018 preliminary results, drawn up by the Centro Studi Federlegno Arredo Eventi, confirm that the production of the Italian wood-furniture sector recorded a positive variation in 2018: the overall figure of the sector recorded a 2018 production up by 1.8% compared to 2017. These figures are even more positive given the fears of external geopolitical events that could have penalized our imports and internal ones linked to possible political instability.On the other hand, the start signals for 2019 are less positive and more uncertain due to the downward forecasts for our economy and which mainly concern export assessments for almost all sectors.Once again, the USA and China are the most promising markets for growth and size potential and for Italy they are interesting outlets for the next few years. The Italian import quota is 2.5% for the USA, the world's largest importer, and 18.4% for China. Both these markets look favorably on our products, especially for their quality and design.
The pre-promotional 2018
These preliminary results are based on data released by Istat for the January-September period for imports and exports and for internal surveys with the Federlegno associates.As pointed out by Istat, the overall picture of consumption in Italy was positive, marking a + 0.7%, even if lower than the other main economies, especially the USA and Canada. In general, however, it was not possible to recover the values before the crisis: since 2007 the consumption of furniture and household appliances still shows a -12.5% delta despite the recovery starting from the negative peak of 2015. It must be admitted that it is now a structural change in demand that will hardly be able to recover this gap: according to ISTAT data, the purchasing power of Italian households has shrunk, in the last ten years, in a net way as well as their ability to save with obvious consequences on consumption of durable goods. Overall, positive signals for the furnishing macro-system came from the domestic market, with an increase in production destined for the national market of + 3.1% compared to 2017, and from exports that maintained a positive sign that is estimated around the 0.8%.The furniture sees the value of total production increase by 2% and exports by 1.6% driven mainly by the US, which has become the 2nd market in absolute terms. Analyzing the individual systems, we note that the office system sees on the one hand the decline in exports, which are falling compared to a positive 2017, on the other the increase in the domestic market with a + 2.9% of Italian production (842 million euro on total production of more than € 1.3 billion). Similar trends have also been recorded for bathroom furnishings, with a growing market also due to the contribution of imports. The lighting system with 2.2 billion euros consolidates the value of production compared to 2017, despite the decline in exports, due to an increase in sales on the domestic market which amounted to 1.4 billion euros (+ 5.7%) .In general, there is a reduction in the impact of imports of finished products, especially from China, offset by the domestic market that is more targeted at the national product.