Italian technologies for the woodworking and furniture industry in the fourth quarter of 2020 saw an increase in orders of 3.7 per cent compared to the same period in 2019. These are the figures that emerge from the quarterly survey carried out by Acimall's Studies Office and that lead to a certain optimism towards an economic trend made particularly difficult by the global health emergency.
Encouraging signs come above all from the domestic market, with an increase of 7.3 per cent, which this time exceeds the trend of orders from international customers (plus 4 per cent).
"There is no doubt that the last weeks of 2020 have shown a sector that is able to cope with the difficulties, reaffirming its vocation for export and maintaining a high focus on the Italian market, which is still among the most important and demanding in the world," commented Luigi De Vito, president of Acimall, the confederation of Italian manufacturers. "Although the first weeks of this year still show an encouraging trend for the entire supply chain, caution is nevertheless a must and we will have to wait for the next quarters to understand whether we are facing a real market recovery. Help in this direction will certainly come from the Industry 4.0 transition plan and the renewed incentives for technology purchases put in place by the Italian government for the next two years".
Forecast survey shows cautious optimism
Acimall's Q4 2020 survey of a significant statistical sample shows that the order book stands at 3.2 months (it was 3.1 in the previous quarter), with a price increase since the beginning of 2020 of 1.2 per cent. Turnover increases by 17.2 per cent compared to Q4 2019.
Respondents also provided clear indications on the qualitative survey side: 50 per cent of the sample indicate a positive production trend, 6 per cent reveal a decline, 44 per cent declare substantial stability.
Employment is stable according to 78 per cent of the sample, decreasing for 6 per cent and increasing for the remaining 16 per cent. Stocks are decreasing for 56 per cent of the sample, increasing for 11 per cent and stable for 33 per cent.
It is interesting to note that the forecast survey shows that 50 per cent of the sample expects a substantially stable export trend, 39 per cent expect a further recovery and only 11 per cent fear a decline. The assessment of what can be expected in the Italian market is different: 45 per cent of respondents believe in further growth, 33 per cent in a stable situation and 22 per cent in a possible contraction.