Economic indicators Italy machinery production forecast cut to no growth: industry group

Editor: Eric Culp

Domestic consumption seen lower yet again this year following a drastic decline in 2012.

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Association President Luigi Galdabini said the decline of machine tool sales bodes ill for all of Italian industry.
Association President Luigi Galdabini said the decline of machine tool sales bodes ill for all of Italian industry.
(Source: UCIMU)

Italian production of machine tools, robots and automation equipment this year is expected to remain near 2012 levels as demand both at home and abroad continues to fade, according to the country’s UCIMU-Sistemi per produrre industry association.

It said output this year will reach €4.8 billion, a decrease of 0.1% from 2012. Exports are expected to grow only 1.8% to €3.7 billion following last year’s record, but Italian consumption will slide 4% to €2 billion after falling more than 18% in 2012.

Deliveries of Italian-built equipment to the domestic market are forecast down 5.8% to €1.1 billion. Production for cross-border operations will rise to 76.5%, the association said. Along with lowering the forecast for production, the industry group also adjusted a range of 2012 growth rates from numbers reported earlier this year.

Related: German machine tool output falling, precision tool production flat

Association President Luigi Galdabini warned that the decline in domestic machine tool sales indicates problems throughout Italian heavy industry, calling it “an issue that affects not only the manufacturers of machine tools but the entire economic system of the country for which failure (or poor) investment in production technology means withdrawal of the manufacturing system at all levels of the productive sector”.

Italy’s toolmakers hoping for an upturn

Earlier this year at the annual meeting of Istma, the international association of precision tool builders, President Fausto Romagnani discussed the situation in Italy, which he called “quite critical”. Romagnani, who owns a mould house in the country, noted that tax hikes were hurting shops. “We are having problems with competitiveness in our industry,” he said. However, despite the macroeconomic weakness and an expected industry slowdown in the first half, Romagnani predicted better business for Italy’s shops over the remainder of the year.

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