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More than 17 percent decline in incoming orders

The quarterly survey of Acimall, the association of Italian woodworking and furniture technology manufacturers, confirms the expected return to normality after a period of exponential growth in orders and turnover.

In the period April to June this year, orders recorded a 17.8 per cent decline compared to the same period in 2022, which was the result of an 18.7 per cent decline in orders from abroad and a 13.8 per cent decline in domestic orders. This result repeats the trend of the previous four months, all of which were negative, and brings the general industry index back to 2019 levels, i.e. back to normal after the pandemic-induced downturn and subsequent recovery that benefited companies with unprecedented growth rates in recent decades.

The wood and furniture products industry can rely on a 5.2-month backlog of orders (unchanged from the previous quarter), while the price change from the beginning of the year, which has settled at 1.2 per cent, is contributing to the cooling of inflation that has characterised this industry and the economy as a whole over the past two years.

According to the Quality Survey, 72 per cent of respondents expect output to be substantially stable (up from 71 per cent in the previous quarter), while 9 per cent predict a further decline and 19 per cent an increase (the balance is plus 10 points).

Employment is increasing according to 14 per cent of survey participants, remaining the same for 81 per cent and decreasing for 5 per cent. Available stocks are stable according to 34 per cent of the respondents (compared to 62 per cent in January-March), increasing for 33 per cent and decreasing for 33 per cent.

As for the forecast survey, the figures analysed by the Acimall statistics office show a less positive climate than in the previous quarter: as for foreign markets, 33 per cent of respondents expect them to be stable (compared to 38 per cent in the previous quarter); 48 per cent expect them to decrease (38 in January-March) and the remaining 19 per cent expect them to increase (compared to 24). The Italian market will remain stable according to 48 per cent of respondents (57 per cent in the first quarter of 2023), shrink for 38 per cent (compared to 24 per cent) and grow for 14 per cent (19 per cent in the previous quarter).

“This scenario was to be expected,” comments Acimall Director Dario Corbetta, “but with a new transition plan for ‘Industry 5.0’ eagerly awaited not only by the wood and furniture industry, but by all machinery segments and beyond, there could be a change of direction. The scope of this plan could drive the recovery of the Italian market in the coming months or at least from the beginning of 2024 onwards.”

Currently, the Italian government is discussing how to further boost the domestic economy. All previous measures were only fully effective until 2022, in 2023, for example, there will only be half of the tax credits and subsidies for energy-efficient modernisation of buildings are also declining.

In any case, the Acimall hopes for extensions and new government subsidies. “These measures would certainly provide new and better opportunities to drive digital transformation and to implement even stronger and more tangible “green” revolution of industrial processes,” the association says.

Acimall Woodworking machines Italy


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