Italy’s machine tool and related technologies manufacturing sector closed out 2014 on a positive note, with production volumes increasing and domestic consumption recovering. That is the report from UCIMU-Sistemi per Produrre, the trade association representing Italy’s producers of machine tool, robots, and automation systems, one of the largest national trade associations in the world’s manufacturing technology sector.
The encouraging results for 2014 included double-digit improvements over 2013 machine-tool production volumes, and followed several years of recession in the sector. Delivering the good news at a year-end presentation, UCIMU president Luigi Galdabini also said the association’s forecast for 2015 remains encouraging.
The trade group’s statistical division presented preliminary figures showing members’ consolidated 2014 output increased to €4.7 billion ($5.5 billion), or 4.6% more than the similar figure for 2013.
Exports of machine tools declined slightly from 2013 totals, down 0.7% to €3.7 billion ($3.97 billion), which UCIMU ascribed to a general slowdown in global trade, “and in particular, by the decision of the European Union to limit exports of machine tools to Russia, as a consequence of the tension between the Federation and Ukraine.”
UCIMU data through September 2014 showed the top destinations for Italian machine tools were China (-18.6%), the U.S. (-8.4%), Germany (+0.2%), Russia (-16%), France (+0.8%), Turkey (+0.6%), Poland (+17.1%), India (-35.5%), Mexico (+11%), and Brazil (-37.3%).
More encouraging was the association’s improvement in the home market, as Italian consumption rose 18.2% over 2013 to €2.420 billion ($2.86 billion.)
A remarkable increase was recorded in Italian consumption, back to a positive sign, which attained €2,420 million euro, i.e. +18.2% vs. 2013, highlighting the recovery of investments made by the Italian manufacturing industry in production systems.
“The recovery, which had started at the end of 2013, materialized in 2014,” Galdabini commented. “Among all indicators, the most relevant datum is that of domestic consumption which has finally come back to a positive sign, showing the new willingness to invest of the Italian users.”