The world that awaits us in this post Covid-19 era was the dominant theme discussed at the conference of the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT), Milan/Italy, held in Milan on October 6, 2020.
In 2019, Italy’s production output of textile machinery dropped by 11% compared to 2018, while exports fell 12%. The sharp decline in manufacturing activity in 2019 was common to both foreign and domestic markets in Italy. This widespread lessened demand in the main Asian and European markets has weighed heavily on machinery sales abroad, also affecting the USA and South America. A similar scenario was observed in Italy, where both imports of machinery of foreign origin and deliveries by Italian manufacturers decreased significantly.
This precarious economic situation then suffered from the strong impact brought on by the pandemic. The repercussions are highlighted by a severe scaling back in orders for Italian producers. The order index for the first 6 months of 2020 dropped 39% compared to the same period for January to June 2019; a recessionary picture that remains confirmed for the whole of 2020. A recovery towards export levels resembling those of the period prior to Covid-19 can only be expected in 2021.
The experience of recent months has brought to light the urgency of accelerating the digital transformation of businesses. ACIMIT has continued to support its associates in this development process.