Anie Federation: recovery is in action in Italy

Giuliano Busetto, president of Anie Confindustria.

The last edition of the Anie Observatory has been recently released. The survey, conducted in July 2017, involved companies of different sizes in order to monitor the performances of the sectors represented within the Italian Federation (industry, energy, building, and transport infrastructure). In the first half of 2017, 56% of the companies participating in the Observatory reported growth in turnover compared to the second half of 2016; 24% of these companies reported double digit growth. In addition, 56% of companies show growth in foreign sales in the first half of 2017 compared to the previous six months. As regards to the order book, for more than 50% of the companies (both small and medium companies) the total orders grew in the first six months of 2017 compared to the same period of 2016. Both SME and big companies share a positive sentiment.
Also for the second half of 2017 the expectations are good. In the second half of 2017, 56% of the businesses report growth in turnover, benefiting from an improving economic environment both in the domestic and foreign markets. The order book analysis shows encouraging signs of expansion in the Anie sectors for the coming months.
Looking at the estimates for the whole year 2017, Anie’s companies confirm a positive trend (58% of the businesses estimate a growth in the total turnover compared to 2016). The foreign channel is important: 64% of the companies expect growth in foreign sales in 2017. Analyzing the performances of the end markets (ie the markets where the Anie technology is directed), the Industry market continues to be a driving force: over 60% of the companies report an increase in the domestic demand in this area. This is an effect of the investments in capital goods supported by the National Plan Industria 4.0.
As regards to the employment, in the first half of 2017, 85% of the companies that took part in the survey reported that they did not reduce their employment levels. Similar signals come from the year-end estimates: almost 90% of the firms declare that they have not reduced their employment levels compared to 2016.
The innovation is central for the development strategies of the Anie companies. More than 80% of the companies show that they have realized (or intend to realize) innovation activities in 2017: 65% of these companies indicate increasing investments in innovation compared to 2016.
In particular, 36% invested in R&D, 34% in improving the business processes, and 27% in purchasing capital goods. Considering the implementation of the Plan Industria 4.0, the Anie companies recognize the benefits in improving the production processes (32%), logistics and organizational efficiency (20%), marketing and sales (17%), creation of innovative services (16%) and supply upgrading (almost 15%). On the other hand, the inadequate knowledge of the new technologies (28% of the surveyed companies), the slow return on investment and the low market receptiveness (22%), the lack of appropriate professional profiles (17%) and the risks related to the data security (about 13%) slow down the implementation of the industry 4.0.