2.2% rise for sixth straight quarter of expansion, with domestic demand now outpacing exports
- Q1 2015 domestic demand, +15.4%
- Exports in 1% decline
- Seeking policies for capital equipment
MAUS S.p.A., an Italian company that specializes in vertical turning lathes, recently established a joint venture to supply and service the North American market.
Italian machine tool builders recorded increased orders for new systems during the first quarter of 2015, with overall demand growing 2.2% versus Q1 2015. Italy has one of the largest machine tool building industries in the world, as well as a large domestic manufacturing sector. According to UCIMU-Sistemi per Produrre (whose members design and manufacture machine tools as well as automation products), the year-on-year growth extends the sector’s expansion to six consecutive quarters, with the strongest demand from the domestic market coming in the most recent quarter.
The trade group its member companies’ domestic orders increased 15.4% over the January-March 2014 period. Orders from non-Italian buyers fell 1% in the same comparison. Among the group’s exports, machine tool orders from the U.S., China, Germany, Russia, and France led the demand.
“The year 2015 is thus opening with good expectations for the Italian manufacturers,” explained UCIMU president Luigi Galdabini, who emphasized that the suppliers had been effective at upholding their service to export markets while exploiting the recovery in Italian demand.”
Like most European manufacturers, the Italian industry has only fitfully emerged from the 2009 recession. As such, the sustained growth of the past six quarters is an especially encouraging development.
Galdabini used the occasion of the data release to note the positive effects of the passage last March of new finance regulations allowing manufacturers to amortize their capital investments.
“The positive trend of orders in the domestic market proves that the recovery of the Italian manufacturing industry has really started,” he said.
Galdabini added that the recovery of machine tool consumption in Italy is important not only for the manufacturers of such machines, but for all industries in that country, which should elevate the government’s efforts to promote new investments in manufacturing, to replace obsolete and inefficient production technologies. “To avoid a loss in competitiveness in our country, we need to consider an incentive program to support the replacement of obsolete machinery,” he stated.