UCIMU: In 2017 Full Growth for the Italian Machine Tool Industry, A Positive Trend also in 2018

The year 2017 was extremely positive for the Italian industry of machine tools, robotics and automation, registering double-digit increases for all main economic indicators, except for that of exports that however started growing again after the downturn in 2016.

The year 2018 will be just as positive, confirming the excellent situation that the sector has been experiencing. This is in short what was illustrated by Massimo Carboniero, President of UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE, during the usual year-end press conference.

As shown by the preliminary year’s data, processed by the Studies Dept. of UCIMU, in 2017, production went up to 6,110 million euro, reporting a 10.1% increase compared with the previous year. It is the fourth consecutive year of growth and, in absolute values, it is the new record for the Italian industry of the sector.

The outcome was due both to the excellent performance of the Italian manufacturers’ deliveries in the domestic market, grown by 16.1% to 2,670 million euro, and to the positive trend of exports increased by 5.8%, to 3,440 million euro.

According to UCIMU’s processing of ISTAT data, in the first nine months of the year (latest available survey), the major destination markets for the Made in Italy of the sector were: China, 248 million euro (+11.5%); Germany, 245 million (-5.8%); United States, 226 million (-8.7%); France, 157 million (-0.7%); Poland, 110 million (+22.2%).

Thanks to these increases, Italy strengthened its role in the international scenario, where today it is recognised not only for the competence expressed by the enterprises of the sector, measured on the basis of the production and export data, but also for the liveliness of demand,showing growth rates that may be compared to those of developing countries.

In particular, in 2017, machine tool, robot and automation consumption in Italy recorded a 13.8% upturn, totalling 4,390 million euro, thus exceeding the value of the Italian pre-crisis market, when it had reached its historic  peak (4,345 million euro, 2007 figure).

The positive trend will continue for the whole year 2018. There will be increases with regard to production and exports, respectively expected to reach almost 6,500 million euro (+6.2%), and 3,600 million, i.e. 4.7% more than the previous year. Moreover, consumption will also grow, likely to attain 4,750 million euro (+8.2%): it will drive both the deliveries of Italian manufacturers in the domestic market that should achieve 2,890 million euro (+8.2%), and imports, which should go up to 1,860 million (+8.1%). The import/consumption ratio should remain stable at 39%.

Massimo Carboniero, President of UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE, commented: “We are really pleased with the year 2017: indeed, it closed with excellent results, collected both in Italy and abroad. In addition, considering the sales on the whole, i.e. not only with regard to machine manufacturing, but also by adding the production of parts, tools, numerical controls, which are not included in the total of Italian machine tools, we can say that the turnover exceeded 8 billion euro”.

“On the foreign front, after a year of regression, the sales of Made in Italy abroad started again. China came back to the top of the ranking among destination countries, thus confirming the enormous potential of this nation. Expressly due to this – continued Massimo Carboniero – at end of November, together with the Ministry of Economic Development, the Italian Embassy to the People’s Republic of China, ICE-Italian Trade Agency and CMTBA, (the Chinese homologous association of UCIMU), UCIMU organised the first Italian-Chinese Machine Tool Forum in Beijing. On this occasion, both the Chinese and the Italian counterparts reaffirmed the strong complementarity of their product offering and the potential of cooperation between their respective industries, involved in a deep process of innovation development, supported by their respective Government Plans, Industry 4.0 and Made in China 2025”.

“According to what emerged during the work sessions, the Association will go on with actions aimed at supporting its member enterprises in their internationalisation activity in China,in order to give continuity to this mission”.

“On the other hand, on the domestic front, also thanks to the Super- and Hyper-Depreciation incentives, the Italian market achieved and broke the consumption record that had been registered in 2007. Even in 2018 it should increase thanks to a favourable economic situation and to the measures in support of investments, planned by the Government in the next Budget Law, too. ”

Actually, the collection of applications to exhibit at the next edition of BI-MU, the major exhibition in Italy for  the sector, which will take place at fieramilano Rho from 9 to 13 October 2018, evidences the liveliness of the  market. Ten months before the event, over 450 companies have already registered to participate, booking an exhibition area three times as large as that reserved in December 2015.

Super-Depreciation at 130%, (rather than at 140%), applied to the investments made within 31 December 2018, with the option of extending delivery within 30 June 2019 (subject to a down payment, corresponding to 20% of the investment value, to be made within December 2018); Hyper-Depreciation at 250%, applied to the investments made within 31 December 2018, with the option of extending delivery within 31 December 2019 (subject to a down payment, corresponding to 20% of the investment value, to be made within December 2018); re-financing of the New Sabatini Law (330 million euro allocated for operations between 2018 and 2023) and tax credit at 40% for expenses incurred by the enterprises due to professional training activity regarding Industry 4.0, are the measures that will accompany us in the next months, supporting and encouraging the modernisation and digitalisation of Italian manufacturing plants.

“The transformation of Italian enterprises has just begun and the Government’s decision to extend the applicability of the provisions that have fostered this process is really forward-looking, as it ensures continuity in a moment that is crucial for the development and the upgrade of our enterprises to the competitiveness standards required by the global market. In the same way, other forward-looking actions are the introduction in the package of the measures in favour of the industry relaunch, as well as the tax credit for professional training with regard to Industry 4.0. Actually, – concluded Carboniero – in order to grow and remain competitive, keeping on producing wealth and work for our young people, our manufacturing industry needs not only technologies, but also appropriate skills to manage and drive the ongoing transformation processes”.