The analysis by Assocomaplast of the latest ISTAT figures for Italian foreign trade shows that, in the first half of 2013, imports in the sector were somewhat weak compared to the same period in 2012 whereas exports held relatively firm.
The downturn in imports (-6.2%) is a symptom of a domestic market that still struggles to recover. However, a potentially promising sign, on this front, is the forecast issued by CONFINDUSTRIA which predicts that Italy’s GDP will stabilize in the third quarter of the year and even grow slightly (+0.3%) in the final quarter.
The drop in exports, meanwhile, can be considered minor (-1.7%), especially given their overall ups and downs. Foreign sales in fact followed an intermittent trend over the first six months of 2013: after a decidedly strong start to the year – entrained by the positive close to 2012 - export flows lost some momentum, though without any of the steep declines suffered by other Italian mechanical engineering sectors.
It has to be said that, aside from the general economic situation, Italy’s domestic political problems pose a further obstacle to recovery. In light of this fact, maintaining exports at essentially the same level as in the preceding year can be regarded as an achievement.
The attitude of Italian machinery manufacturers is moderately optimistic. In fact, the latest survey conducted by Assocomaplast among its members shows that companies expect to see an improvement in turnover (especially at exports) over the second half of the year, also in view of the upswing in orders in July of this year, compared to both June 2013 and July 2012.
The imminent appointment with the K in Duesseldorf (16-23 October 2013) will offer Italian machinery manufacturers – whose exhibitor presence is second only to that of the German hosts – an important opportunity for comparing notes and technologies with their main global competitors. Assocomaplast will be operating an information stand (n. 16A56) to support and showcase Italy’s participation with promotional materials and a small gallery of design objects and films tracing the evolution of plastics over the past few decades.