Italian market up in 2018

Foreign trade grows. Uncertainties in construction and public works sector remain

During 2018, 14,645 construction machines have been sold in the Italian market, with a growth of 16% compared to last year. In details, earth-moving machines sold were 14,144 (+16% yoy), while road machineries were 501 units, up 2%.

“The 2018 has been an encouraging year for the Italian market of construction equipment, confirming the recovering trend which has lasted for some years now – said Mirco Risi, President of Unacea. Despite the uncertainty about investments in the construction sector, the market of construction equipment enjoyed the general economic recovery of the last years, particularly driven by the need to replace a fleet that has become obsolescent during the years of the crisis. However, this machines replacement rate will not be able to continue its effect of market driver in the medium term. Therefore, it necessary to adopt a revitalization plan for the construction sector, supported by adequate investments”.

Looking at the national construction industry, the residential sector was the main driver of growth in 2018, with an increase in investment of 2.6%. It is what came out from the Samoter Outlook, the report of Prometeia released last December. It is different the trend for infrastructures, which after the fall achieved in 2017 (-2%), continued its stagnation also in 2018 (0.3%). After the period of uncertainty following the adoption of the new law for public tenders, the weakness of investments in infrastructures should being exceed, even if the forecast of the last government economic-financial document is of concern. In fact, according to the document, in 2019 a new contraction is expected in the general fixed gross public investments (-2.2%), conversely to the expectations of contained in previous government document, which forecasted a growth up to 2.5%.

Positive trend for the foreign trade, with the export of construction equipment that reached €2.4 billions between January and October 2018, up 6% compared to the same period of 2017. More in detail, export of earth-moving machines grew 12.8%. Growth trends also in tower cranes export (+11.4%) and crushing and screening equipment (+1.2%). Slight decline for the export of drilling equipment (-0,7%), as well as concrete equipment (-2.1%) and road machines (-7.3%). Conform to the performance of the internal market, import of construction equipment grew by 12%, reaching €809 million. The balance of trade is positive for more than €1.6 billion, and achieved a growth rate of 3.7%.

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