The fourth quarter 2020 brought some optimism to an economic trend that has been really complicated due to the global COVID-19 emergency, reported Acimall. The woodworking and furniture industry technology, in the October-December period of last year, recorded 3.7% growth in orders compared to the same period in 2019. Encouraging signals came from the domestic market, with a 7.3% increase, stronger than the trend recorded by orders from international customers (plus 4%).
“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% since the beginning of 2020. Revenues increased by 17.2% compared to Q4 2019.
The interviewees gave clear feedback in the quality survey: 50% of the sample indicated a positive production trend, 6% negative and 44% stable. Employment is stable according to 78% of the sample, decreasing for 6% and increasing for 16%. Available stocks are stable according to 56% of the sample companies, increasing for 11% and decreasing for 33%.
It is interesting to notice that, according to the forecast survey, 50% of the sample expect a stable trend for export, 39% predict a consolidation of recovery and 11% fear a reduction. Expectations for the Italian market are different: 45% believe that business will grow further, 33% expect a stable trend and 22% see possible shrinkage ahead.