Driving Innovation: Italy’s Manufacturing Sector Sets Records and Charts a Forward Path

In 2023, the Italian manufacturing sector specializing in machine tools, robots, and automation systems continued its upward trajectory, achieving a new production milestone and maintaining a promising outlook for 2024.

Barbara Colombo, president of UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE, the association representing Italian manufacturers in these sectors, shared these insights during the customary year-end press conference.

According to preliminary data from UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE’s Studies Department & Business Culture, production in 2023 reached €7,560 million, marking a 3.8% increase from the previous year. This growth was primarily fueled by robust export performance, which surged by 10.3% to €3,825 million, resulting in an export-to-production ratio of 50.6%.

On the international front, Italian exports to key markets, as per UCIMU’s analysis of ISTAT data from January to August 2023, showed notable increases in destinations such as the United States (€356 million, +26.7%), Germany (€217 million, +8.8%), China (€163 million, +34%), France (€138 million, +32.1%), and Poland (€128 million, +14.7%).

Conversely, deliveries within the domestic market experienced a slight decline to €3,735 million, representing a 2% decrease compared to 2022. This dip in domestic deliveries, coupled with a 4.5% reduction in imports to €2,385 million, reflects a marginal decrease in overall consumption, which fell by 3% to €6,120 million.

Looking ahead to 2024, Italian manufacturers in these sectors anticipate maintaining the momentum of recent years. Production is forecasted to reach €7,595 million, a modest 0.5% increase from 2023, driven by continued growth in exports projected at €4,070 million (+6.4%).

Domestic deliveries are expected to decline to €3,525 million (-5.6%), mirroring the anticipated decrease in domestic consumption to €5,780 million (-5.6%). Likewise, imports are forecasted to decrease by 5.5% to €2,255 million. The export-to-production ratio is expected to rise to 53.6%.

Barbara Colombo emphasized, “Despite signs of a slowdown, 2023 concludes positively for Italian manufacturers, with ‘Made in Italy’ production reaching a new high, driven by strong international performance.”

She highlighted ongoing efforts to enhance collaboration with Germany, a key partner for the Italian mechanical industry, through an operational plan focusing on mutual visits, trade fairs, and market analyses.

Moreover, UCIMU continues to support internationalization initiatives, notably through business networks like ITC in India and the newly established IMT in Vietnam, aiming to facilitate market penetration in these regions.

On the domestic front, while investment intentions in 2023 showed a decline, attributed to a return to normalcy after previous exceptional growth, efforts to promote digital transition and incentives for small-scale investments remain crucial for sustained industry development.

Colombo commended government efforts to secure funding for the Transition Plan 5.0 under the Repower EU initiative, emphasizing the importance of refining measures to extend support to a broader spectrum of companies and encouraging increased investment in digital transformation.

She concluded by urging the government to reconsider tax credit rates and eligibility thresholds to better accommodate smaller companies embarking on the digital transition journey.

Original source from machinesitalia.org

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