Italian Machines Tool Industry in 2021

In 2021 the world economy returned to growth, leaving behind the most critical phase of the health emergency from Covid 19: global GDP increased by 5.9%. The recovery has affected both industrialised countries (+5%) and emerging countries (+6.3%).

International trade, the true engine of global growth in recent decades, has resumed expansion (+9.5%, after -5.2% in 2020); trade in manufactured goods has aligned with this trend, growing by 9.7% (-4.7% in 2020).

The Italian economy grew at very high rates (+6.6%) outperforming many euro area countries and outperforming the EMU average (+5.3%). The quarterly analysis of the trend changes in GDP perfectly describes the exit from the pandemic crisis, a crisis still "visible" in the first quarter of 2021 (+0.1%), and the subsequent recovery in economic activity. In fact, after the peak growth recorded in the second quarter of the year (+17.6%), which is compared with the lockdown period, the increase in GDP continued in the third (+3.9%) and fourth quarters (+6.2%).

Investments recorded significant growth (+17%). In particular, the trend of investments in construction (+22.3%) was brilliant, but the performance of those in machinery and equipment (+12.5%) was also satisfactory. The rebound in household consumption (+5.2%) was good, but the growth in public expenditure (+1%) was much more measured.


Despite the increase in production of 5,690 million euros (+21.7%), Italy fell to fifth place in the world manufacturers' ranking (surpassed by the USA). Sales abroad increased to 2,945 million (+12.2%) allowing the country to retain its fourth world exporter. Imports amounted to 1,261 million, +55.8%. Domestic demand, among the most lively - as confirmed by the increase in consumption to 4,006 million, 40% more than in 2020 - has allowed Italy to conquer the fourth place in the global scenario of consumer countries.

In 2021, the Italian production of machine tools, robots and automation amounted to 6,330 million euros, an increase of 22.2% compared to 2020.

Consumption grew by 40.7%, to 5,009 million, due to the increase in both domestic deliveries (+35.1%, 3,135 million) and imports (+51.1%, 1,874 million). The market share covered by foreign machinery was 37.4%. 

Exports also increased, reaching 3,195 million euros in 2021, 11.7% more than the previous year. The export-to-production ratio fell from 55.2% in 2020 to 50.5% in 2021.

The trade balance decreased by 18.5% to 1,321 million euros.

The positive performance of the Italian industry in the sector was reflected in the level of utilization of production capacity, whose annual average has significantly increased, from 65% in 2020, to 80.2% in 2021.

In increase also the carnet orders, that it has been attested to 7,3 months of assured production, against the 5 months of the year precedence. Car prices rose by 2.2% over the previous year.