Italian Machines Tool Industry in 2018

In 2018, the world economy maintained the same pace of expansion as in the previous year (+3.7%).

The development rate of international trade slowed down its growth (+4.1%); the exchange of manufactured products were in line with this trend, increasing by 4%.

In 2018, the Italian economy only had a 0.9% rise, showing the worst performance among the EMU countries and a significant slowdown compared with +1.6% increase in 2017.

According to the quarterly analysis regarding the trend changes, there was a continuous deceleration first quarter (+1.4%), second quarter (+1.2%), third quarter (+0.7%) and fourth quarter (+0.5%).

Investments represented the most dynamic component of demand (+3.4%). Those regarding transport means (+14.5%) had a better performance than those concerning machinery and equipment (+2.8%). A more moderate growth was reported with regard to public expenditure (+0.2%) and household consumption (+0.6%).


In 2018, the world production of machine tools grew (+2.1%) to over 77,400 million euro. In this context, Italy stood out for its excellent performance, achieving a higher than average increase.

In particular, Italy strengthened its fourth place among world manufacturers and confirmed its third place among exporting countries, behind Germany and Japan.

In 2018, the Italian production of machine tools, robots and automation systems reached 6,775 million euro, highlighting an 11.3% increase versus 2017 (TABLE 15).

Consumption grew by 15.7% to 5,164 million euro, due to the excellent trend of deliveries in the domestic market, registering a 15.2% upturn and attaining 3,112 million euro.

Imports went up by 16.3%, totalling 2,052 million euro; the market share covered by foreign machinery accounted for 39.7%.

A positive outcome was reported also with regard to exports, which, in 2018, achieved 3,663 million euro, i.e. 8.2% more than in the previous year. The export/production ratio decreased, from 56% in 2017 to 54% in 2018. The trade balance went down by 0.6%, amounting to 1,611 million euro.

The positive performance of the Italian industry of the sector influenced the utilisation level of production capacity, whose yearly average increased from 83.2% in 2017 to 84.4% in 2018. The order portfolio improved, standing at 6.9 months of guaranteed production versus 6.6 months in the previous year.

Machine selling prices rose by 0.7% compared with the previous year.