Thursday, March 4, 2021
The fourth quarter 2020 brought some optimism to an economic trend that has been really complicated due to the global sanitary emergency. Woodworking and furniture industry technology in the October-December period of last year recorded 3.7 percent growth in orders compared to the same period of 2019. Encouraging signals came from the domestic market, with a 7.3 percent increase, stronger than the trend recorded by orders from international customers (plus 3 percent).
“There is no doubt that the final weeks of 2020 showed that the industry can face the current challenges, reaffirming its vocation to export and keeping a focus on the Italian market, which remains one of the most important and demanding on a global scale”, said Luigi De Vito, president of Acimall, the Confindustria member association representing Italian manufacturers. “Although the first weeks of this year are still showing an encouraging trend across the entire supply chain, we must be cautious and wait for the next quarters before we can say that the market is recovering. Significant support in this direction will certainly come from the Industry 4.0 transition plan and the extension of incentives to purchase new technology, deployed by the Italian government for the next two years”.
The quarterly survey by the Studies Office of Acimall on a statistic sample of companies indicates that the orders book is equal to 3.2 months (versus 3.1 in the previous quarter), with a price increase by 1.2 percent since the beginning of 2020. Revenues increased by 17.2 percent compared to Q4 2019.
The interviewees gave clear feedback in the quality survey: 50 percent of the sample indicated a positive production trend, 6 percent negative and 44 percent stable. Employment is stable according to 78 percent of the sample, decreasing for 6 percent and increasing for 16 percent. Available stocks are stable according to 56 percent of the sample companies, increasing for 11 percent and decreasing for 33 percent.
It is interesting to notice that, according to the forecast survey, 50 percent of the sample expect a stable trend for export, 39 percent predict a consolidation of recovery and 11 percent fear a reduction. Expectations for the Italian market are different: 45 percent believe that business will grow further, 33 percent expect a stable trend and 22 percent see possible shrinkage ahead.