The Italian machine tool industry saw a modest rise in exports of machine tools, but domestic demand remained flat in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the latest figures from the Italian machine tool association, UCIMU.
In total, the machine tool index of orders registered a 4.1 per cent year-over-year increase and an absolute value of 100.6. The index of foreign orders rose by 6 per cent, to 108.7, which while above average, is not enough to reassure Italian manufacturers, according to UCIMU. Demestic demand remained stable at +0.2 per cent with a value of 86.1.
Luigi Galdabini president of UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE says “despite the increase, the last quarterly survey showed once again that Italian market operators are still very skeptical when it comes to investing…Figures published last week by Italian Central Credit Register Crif paint a paradoxical picture: in the second half of 2013, the number of loan applications filed with banks was higher than in 2009, when the crisis was at its worst; on the other hand, according to the last available figures (dating back to November) , the amount of loans granted went down 6 per cent compared to last year”.
He adds that since the industry is “highly dependent on foreign demand” the country should invest in more extensive campaigns to promote “made in Italy” products abroad.