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State of the Industry Report 2021: First Quarter Machine Tools Orders Grow +48.6%
In the first quarter of 2021, the orders of machine tools collected by Italian manufacturers started to grow again. In particular, the UCIMU index processed by the Economic Studies Department & Business Culture of the Association showed a 48.6% upturn in the first three months of the year compared with the same period of 2020. The absolute value of the index was 169 (base 100 in 2015). 
The overall outcome was mainly due to the excellent performance of manufacturers on the domestic market. Indeed, on the internal market, Italian manufacturers registered a 157.9% increase in the collected orders compared with the same period of the previous year. The absolute value of the index was 195.5. 
On the foreign front, orders rose by 30.5% versus the period January-March 2020. The absolute value of the index was 155.
“The data recorded in the first quarter – stated the president of UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE, Barbara Colombo – are surely positive and allow us to take a little breath after months of great difficulty.  This said, the registered increases must to be carefully considered. As a matter of fact, they are compared with the results obtained in the first part of 2020, which was a very difficult period, because, from the end of February, we actually had to face the first effects of the international pandemic”.
“Already at the end of 2020 we had perceived that the domestic market had started to make orders increasingly and now it is showing a good performance, also supported by the incentive measures for investments in new production technologies established in the Transition Plan 4.0. Even the indications collected in the foreign markets are positive, but the recovery shows different speeds: China and the United States highlight a very dynamic business activity, whereas the countries of the Euro area have just started to pick up”.
“The fact that the world is starting again to make investments in new machine tools and new automation systems is undoubtedly excellent news, but we, the manufacturers, risk being partially uninvolved in the opportunities that some markets are able to offer presently, due to the prolonged restrictions to the mobility of people”. 
“For this reason, - continued President Barbara Colombo – considering that EMO MILANO 2021 is scheduled to take place at fieramilano Rho from 4 to 9 October, i.e. in the last quarter of the year that should reasonably coincide with a return to normal thanks to mass vaccination, it will be for us, the Italian manufacturers, an even more important event. On this occasion, we should make the most of all the opportunities offered by an occurrence of such relevance, which will be held again in Italy after 6 years and, most of all, after one and a half year of unavoidable stop to all international exhibitions”.
Market indications, along with the progress of the vaccination campaign that, over the last two weeks, finally seems to be finally in full swing even in Italy, raise hopes for the success of EMO MILANO 2021, where the exhibiting enterprises will present their product offering to the operators of the world manufacturing industry arriving in Milan.
To date, the exhibition secretariat has collected applications to exhibit from 28 countries worldwide; the leading international players have already confirmed their participation, being aware of the enormous potential offered by the event. Nevertheless, there are still companies that, before confirming their presence, prefer to wait for more certainties about the procedures with which the trade show will take place.
“Therefore, – concluded the president of UCIMU – we ask the Government authorities to give us clear and precise indications as soon as possible, because, even if there are still six months before EMO MILANO 2021, the organisation to participate in such an event has to be defined now”.
Cinisello Balsamo, 15 April 2021

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