Dienstag, 11.05.2021, 08:11 Uhr
Strong first quarter of 2021 bodes well for the future
"There is no better way to start the new year. The data processed by our study office confirms the 'strong perception' of the last months: the year 2021 has started very positively, with a strong increase in demand for technology for the furniture and wood industry," says Luigi De Vito, president of Acimall - the association representing Italian manufacturers of technologies, tools and equipment for wood and wood-based materials.
58 percent more orders came in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year. The trend in international orders was very positive, with a 52 percent increase, while domestic demand really boomed, with an 87.8 percent increase.
"The rebound has far exceeded our expectations, supported by the positive signals in the last quarter of 2020," De Vito added.
The quarterly survey of companies by Acimall's study office also shows that backlogs span 4.1 months, while price fluctuations have been one percent since Jan. 1. Total sales were up 2.4 percent from 1Q20.
In the quality survey, respondents provided clear feedback, with 75 percent of the sample reporting a positive production trend (up from 50 percent in the previous quarter, a clear indication of increasing confidence in more "reactive" markets); five percent reported declining business, while 20 percent were stable. Growth was also the predominant trend in employment numbers, with 55 percent of the sample reporting a stable trend, while 40 percent reported an increase and five percent reported a decrease.
According to the forecast survey, 55 percent of companies expect the export trend to remain at current levels, while 45 percent believe the situation may improve. No one fears that the situation may worsen, which is important for confidence in the future. Looking only at the domestic market, the outlook is somewhat different, with 55 percent of the sample expecting further expansion, 40 percent stability and five percent thinking of a decline.
So the first quarter showed a clear and positive change of direction after a difficult 2020.
Of course, the global situation also affected Italian exports. A decrease of 15.8 percent compared to 2019 and an absolute value of 1,330 million euros. Nevertheless, international sales remain the main driver for the entire sector.
The decline in imports in 2020 was even greater in percentage terms, with a drop of 28.2 percent or 153 million euros. Overall, these figures show that domestic demand was still in a critical situation in 2020, while the trade balance - i.e. the export-import difference - remained at a high level (1,177 million euros).