Assago, Italy - Substantial stability. That’s the trend of Italian woodworking and wood-based materials technology in the first quarter 2013, a result that can be deemed positively after the big difficulties recorded in the final period of 2012.
Let’s take a look at figures: the quarterly survey executed by Acimall’s Studies Office reveals a 2.7 percent decrease of orders compared to the January-March 2012 period, resulting from 2.8 percent decrease of foreign business and 2.4 shrinkage on the domestic market. The orders book spans two months approximately, with prices up by 0.4 percent since the beginning of the year. Slight reduction for turnover: minus 0.7 compared to the corresponding quarter in 2012.
According to the quality survey for the January-March period, 19 percent of the interviewed companies indicate a positive production trend, 35 percent stable and 46 percent decreasing production.
Employment is considered stationary by 73 percent of the sample, falling by 23 percent and increasing by 4 percent. Available stocks were stationary according to 54 percent, decreasing according to 31 percent and growing according to the remaining 15 percent.
Short-term trends are identified by the forecast survey: the first evidence is that the strong difference between the domestic market and export will endure. Few operators are confident in the Italian market and they increasingly focus on export. Foreign orders are expected to grow according to 38 percent of the interviewees, remain stable for 58 percent and shrink for 3 percent (negative balance minus 36). 42 percent predict a shrinking domestic market, while 54 percent expect substantial stability and only 4 percent believe that orders will rally in the short term (the balance is minus 38).
The quarterly survey picture is completed by some figures concerning the 2003-2013 period, revealing that, compared to a base index equal to 100 in 2002, the domestic index scored a new negative record (31). The foreign index exceeds 100, nevertheless it is not enough to drive the overall index (domestic and foreign) beyond 79 points.
The index of confidence of companies, based on the historical record of forecast surveys from 2003 until today, shows an upsurge of expectations from across the border, while a pessimistic attitude towards the domestic market can be taken for “granted”: the last balance figure mentioned in this press release (minus 38) is the tenth negative result in a row, and the seventh if we consider negative results beyond minus 20 points.
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