Italian Manufacturing Association Reports 19.9 Percent Decline in Machine Tool Orders for Q3 2023

Cinisello Balsamo, Italy – UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE’s Economic Studies Department & Business Culture Centre reported a 19.9 percent decline in the index of machine tool orders during the third quarter of 2023, in comparison to the July-September 2022 period. The absolute value of the index was 63.7 (base year 2015 = 100). The outcome was due to the reduction in order intake, which manufacturers reported both in foreign and domestic markets. In particular, the orders collected from abroad recorded a 1.7 percent decrease compared to the same period last year. The absolute value of the index stood at 96.2. On the domestic front, orders fell by 45.1 percent to an absolute value of 24.

Barbara Colombo, President, UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE—Italian machine tool, robots, automation systems, and ancillary products (NC, tools, components, accessories) manufacturers’ association—stated: “The data compiled by the Economic Studies Department & Business Culture Centre confirm the negative trend that we have been observing since the beginning of the year, which has been determined by a number of different factors.” She mentioned that the decline in new orders in the domestic market corresponds to a general decrease in demand, especially after recent growth years. Colombo emphasized the importance of completing the ongoing digital transition in the Italian manufacturing industry, aligning it with new European directives on sustainability and green manufacturing.

Colombo also highlighted the transformation within the industry, acknowledging that it varies across large, medium, and small-sized companies and is not yet complete. She stressed the need for appropriate measures to support this transition, especially given its significance for Italy’s economic system.

Furthermore, the UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE President, welcomed the decision to include the re-financing of the Sabatini Law, incentives for companies returning to production in Italy, and tax cuts in the 2024 Budget Package. She called for strengthening competitiveness measures within Plan 5.0 and urged prompt action by government representatives at the EU level to secure resources for the RepowerEU Plan.

Colombo advocated for increasing tax credit rates for investments in new production technologies 4.0 and the implementation of a modular system of tax incentives that reward investments in new machines aligned with digitalization for sustainability and reiterated, “In essence, the proposal submitted to the Government authorities some days ago by Confindustria and 10 trade associations, including UCIMU, envisages, in addition to the tax credit for investments in technologies 4.0, also a tax credit at a higher rate for innovation projects aimed at twin transition or digital sustainability”.

On the foreign front, she noted that order intake remained stable, particularly in North America. She expressed hope for Europe, especially Germany, to resume strong economic activity. However, she also pointed out the global instability caused by the Middle East conflict, which may contribute to market uncertainty. Colombo stressed the need for attention to distant regions, notably Asia.

“For this reason—she concluded—UCIMU is committed to the implementation of new initiatives to support the internationalization activities of enterprises. Among these, two business networks: ITC India that has already been working for eleven years; and the newly established network IMT in Vietnam, launched last September and created with the aim of facilitating the penetration of the network companies into a country that represents the gateway to the whole South-East Asian region.”

Image Source: UCIMU

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