The general assembly of Ucimu – Sistemi per Produrre – the association of Italian manufacturers of machine tools, robots and automations – was recently held and, in addition to the presentation of the numbers for 2019 and 2020, there was the handover between the outgoing president, Massimo Carboniero, and his successor, Barbara Colombo, CEO of Ficep and first woman to lead the association.
THE NUMBERS 2019
According to the final data processed by the Ucimu Business Studies and Culture Center, in 2019 the production of machine tools recorded a decline of 3.8 percent compared to 2018, reaching 5,890 million euros. A decrease due to the reduction in deliveries on the domestic market (6.5 per cent less than the previous year, for a total of 2,528 million euros) and partly also to exports (minus 1.7 per cent, for a total of 3,364 million euros). In terms of exports in particular for Italy, if Germany and China have reduced their (respectively by 4.7 and 11 per cent), the United States, France and Russia have increased them (respectively by 19, 2.8 and 19.4 per cent), thus leading to a decline, but decidedly less than that of the internal market.
Consumption also fell (less than 7.5 per cent and a total value of 3,970 million euros) after four consecutive years of growth.
If the numbers of 2019 have shown the symptoms of a contraction, those of 2020 draw the contours of the pandemic that has gripped the world in its grip. The forecasts drawn up by the UCIMU assume a decline, in 2020, of 34.6 percent in the production of machine tools, with exports reduced by 27.2 percent and domestic consumption by 43.3 percent. Numbers, unfortunately, eloquent. If 2020 – also in light of the new restrictions – is unlikely to have clear improvements by the end of the year, the forecasts for 2021 are decidedly more “rosy”. World demand, according to the econometric institute Oxford Economics, will grow by 15.1 percent, ushering in a three-year period of constant growth, which will bring it back to a total of 68.8 billion euros in 2024. In particular, Italy will recognize , again according to this study, an increase of 38.2 percent compared to 2020.
“For this reason – commented the past president of Ucimu Massimo Carboniero – we need a reasoned intervention plan to stimulate and support investments in new production technologies. It is important that the ongoing digital transformation process continues and also reaches those companies that have so far been excluded. In this sense, the Recovery Fund launched now by Europe is the best and greatest opportunity to choose the path of growth and development for our country. We ask the government authorities to think carefully about the use and allocation of the resources that belong to our country, so that priority is given to the real activators of the growth of the country’s economic system. This is the case with the measures for innovation and competitiveness. It is necessary to continue, well beyond 2020, with the Transition Plan 4.0 which in fact allows the tax credit on machinery acquired in the current year“.