FEDERMACCHINE: 2021 record year for instrumental mechanics
The year 2021 proved to be a "golden year" for the Italian capital goods industry. In fact, the data processed by the FEDERMACCHINE Statistics Group just presented record double-digit increases for all the main economic indicators.
Specifically, in 2021, the industry's turnover stood at 50.4 billion euros, registering a 21.6% increase over the 2020 figure. Thanks to this acceleration, the sector industry not only recovered the ground lost in the previous two-year period (2019-2020) but even improved the record it had set in 2018.
Exports-grew, by 18.1%, to 32.9 billion euros-returned to pre-pandemic levels. Foreign market sales thus resumed strongly but did not achieve the momentum they had shown in 2018.
The performance of deliveries by Italian manufacturers on the domestic market was excellent, which, driven by consumption, reached a value of 17.5 billion euros, or 28.6% more than in 2020.
The protagonist of unprecedented growth was the demand expressed by the domestic market, which grew by 29.7% compared to the previous year and stood at 27.2 billion euros, an unprecedented value.
Imports also benefited from the vibrancy of domestic demand, standing at 9.6 billion euros, 31.7% higher than in 2020. However, Italian companies in the sector have shown that they are able to guard the local market well, as evidenced by the import/consumption figure, which remains at 35.5%.
The export/turnover ratio dropped, by two percentage points, to 65.2 %.
Giuseppe Lesce, president of FEDERMACCHINE, commented, "Filed 2020 scourged by the outbreak of the pandemic, in 2021, Italian capital goods companies were the protagonists of a truly exceptional performance. So much so that the year-end figures just presented are decidedly higher than the estimates that the Statistics Group had drawn up last July at the federation's annual meeting."
"The Italian market, supported by the 4.0 incentives, has rewarded our offer by making the figure for manufacturers' deliveries fly and also boosting imports. The result is a manufacturing industry that is certainly more competitive than in the past, as it is equipped with the latest and vast majority digital and interconnected technologies."
"The Transition 4.0 process that has been underway for several years now is at a crucial stage of its deployment because the awareness of the need to innovate manufacturing plants is spreading to an increasingly broader audience of companies. It is therefore necessary to continue in this direction so that Italian manufacturing continues to innovate, thus ensuring the constant improvement of our industry's competitiveness."
"In particular, we believe that 4.0 incentives must become structural so as to continuously and steadily accompany the technological evolution of factories. We therefore ask the government authorities to think about a system that provides, even beyond 2025, the maintenance of these measures, possibly reducing the tax credit rates currently in force."
"Unfortunately - Giuseppe Lesce continued - the context of instability caused by the outbreak and prolongation of the war between Russia and Ukraine makes all business activity decidedly more complex. In this situation, guaranteeing continuity to the development support policies that are currently operational is the first response to reassure companies so that they continue with their investment plans, thus avoiding market stalling and a halt in consumption."
"To this, however, must be added a program of extraordinary interventions aimed at reducing the heaviest effects derived first from the pandemic, and then from the war. I am thinking of the issue of the rising price of raw materials and energy and the lack of availability of materials and components coming from abroad. We experience the paradoxical situation of being loaded with orders but not being able to produce. This is absurd!"
"The definition of shorter value chains is a matter that Italian companies, in many cases, have already been considering for some time, in response, first and foremost, to the outbreak of the pandemic. However, we know how laborious and articulated that path is. This is why we need immediate interventions that can reduce the devastating impact that the current situation could have in the near future."
In this regard - Giuseppe Lesce concluded - we call for immediate action for the establishment of a working table with the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, for the definition of new channels of supply of raw materials as an alternative to those usually used and now interrupted by the contingent situation as well as we ask that energy costs for citizens and businesses be calmed.