Significant reduction of italian machinery orders
Trend survey figures for the 2012 October-December period indicate a significant reduction of orders. The result is in line with preliminary 2012 final balance figures recently published by Acimall, the Italian woodworking machinery and tools manufacturers’ association, indicating a 10 percent reduction of production. The fourth quarter 2012 shows a clear trend reversal compared to substantial stability that had characterized the past three years: orders from abroad are slowing down, a variation that can be considered physiological in view of the satisfactory trend recorded in the past three-year period; the "painful spot” is the domestic market, that remains at hardly encouraging levels.
Let’s come to figures. In October-December 2012, woodworking technology and tools recorded a 9.5 percent reduction of orders compared to the same period of 2011. The drop of orders from foreign countries amounted to 10.5 percent, while Italian demand slightly increased by 0.8 percent. The book of orders is close to two months, while prices have been growing by 0.8 percent since the beginning of the year.
The quality survey reveals that 14 percent of interviewees indicate a positive production trend, 39 percent a stable situation, and 47 percent a decreasing trend.
Employment is stationary according to 75 percent of the sample and further decreasing for 25 percent. Available stocks are stationary according to 43 percent, decreasing according to 53 percent and growing according to 4 percent.
The forecast survey provides a picture of the trends we can expect in the short term: the domestic market shows no encouraging signals, while on the international scenario we are waiting to have a clearer vision.
Foreign orders are expected to grow according to 21 percent of the interviewees, remain stable for 50 percent and shrink for 29 percent (negative balance minus 8). The domestic market will be shrinking further according to 46 percent of the sample, remain stable according to 54 percent (negative balance minus 46).
Compared to a reference index equal to 100 in 2002, the historical trend of the past ten years shows that the domestic market is currently at an all-time low, which had already been touched in the previous quarter, at a level of 32. The index of total orders, instead, is 64. As already highlighted when preliminary balance figures were published, substantial stability in 2011 has been replaced by a slow but relentless drop of orders. Since the worst period of the crisis (second quarter 2009), only 20 points have been recovered, not enough the compensate for 70 points lost between 2007 and 2009.