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Machine tool makers see the domestic market flourish at +15.4%

by Carlo Andrea Finotto

Orders on the domestic market for the first quarter of 2015 are growing by 15.4% compared to the same period last year, according to the quarterly study by the research institute at Ucimu, Confindustria’s association of machine tools manufacturers.

The jump in domestic orders contributed to an overall rise of 2.2% in the first quarter of 2015. They had already started rising at the end of last year.

On the other hand, orders on the foreign market have started faltering (-1%) after years of breakneck growth: a worrisome development for a sector that generates abroad over 70% of its production’s value.

In other words, things are changing for Italy’s economic outlook. It may be not fully apparent yet, but “2015 is starting well for Italian manufacturers,” Ucimu president Luigi Galdabini said. “While they are remaining true to their natural export-oriented inclination, they are also fully exploiting the recovery of Italy’s demand for production systems.”

Further evidence for Galdabini’s words came from Patrizia Ghiringhelli, head of marketing of Rettificatrici Ghiringhelli Spa of Luino (Varese): “We are also witnessing an upsurge in the national component of demand,” said Ghiringhelli, who works in a Lombard company producing machineries for the automotive, tool-making and mechanical sectors, which exports 95% of its output. “In our case, orders increased in the last quarter by about 10%,” she said.

Ucimu is forecasting exports growing 4.1% this year to €3,5 billion, with the United States and  China in the forefront as leading markets, followed by Germany, Russia and France.

It is safe to assume that such dynamism could have been spurred by the introduction of the so-called “Nuova Sabatini” law (which makes it easier and more convenient for small and medium-sized companies to finance their machinery’s investment, Ed’s note).

Ucimu’s president quoted official data from the Ministry for Economic Development to underline the measure’s importance.

“Between March 2014 and March 2015, the ‘Nuova Sabatini’ created investments (not only in machine tools) for €1.6 billion,” he said.