According to the preliminary figures published by the Acimac Research Department, the sector’s turnover has stabilised at 2 million euros. Exports have fallen while the Italian market has remained steady thanks to the Industry 4.0 programme.
The Italian ceramic machinery and equipment industry’s period of expansion has finally come to an end after five consecutive years of growth, a record in the sector’s history.
According to preliminary figures published by the Research Department of Acimac (Italian Ceramic Machinery and Equipment Manufacturers’ Association), the industry is expected to close 2018 with a turnover of 2.076 billion euros.
Exports experienced the biggest fall, dropping to 1.493 billion euros (-9.8%).
“In 2018 we have seen significant falls in production in some of our key outlet markets, and this has had a negative impact on technology investments,” said Acimac’s Chairman Paolo Sassi.
The Italian market fared better, remaining stable at last year’s levels with 583 million euros thanks to the final months of the tax incentives provided by the Industry 4.0 plan.
The forecasts for next year are extremely cautious. “The global macroeconomic outlook is essentially contracting so we do not expect to see an increase in turnover in 2019. Our industry is closely linked to the construction sector, which has been one of the most badly hit by the current economic slowdown,” continued Sassi.
The association’s representatives are also concerned about the economic and social policies adopted by the current Italian government, which pay scant attention to the world of production and risk marginalising Italy on the European stage.