The 2017 first-half figures for the Italian processing and packaging industry revealed higher-than-expected domestic revenues driven by government incentives on the purchase of capital goods. The trend is expected to continue in the second half of the year as exports also pick up. The main risks and threats perceived by companies include increased competition, commodity prices, taxation and labour and service costs.
Slower growth in exports compared to domestic Italian sales is the most significant figure to have emerged from the latest findings of the Ipack-Ima Monitor, the survey linked to the most important European exhibition in 2018 for the processing and packaging industry to be held at the Fiera Milano exhibition centre from 29 May to 1 June next year.
Looking in detail at the various business communities, in the first half year of 2017 most companies in the Food Fresh & Convenience segment posted growth of between 0 and +5 %. Export turnover was 2 percentage points higher than forecast, and total turnover (Italian + exports) 11 points higher due to strong domestic sales. Estimates for the current half year point to a further improvement in all three variables investigated (total sales, export sales and employment).
The Pasta, Bakery & Milling sector reported growth, again more in terms of total turnover (73 % of companies) than export turnover (53 %). The forecasts for the current year point to more widespread growth expectations in terms of both total sales (86 % of companies) and export sales (almost 3/4 of companies).
Contrary to the widely overestimated expectations for 2017, only 60% of companies in the Confectionery segment reported export growth (they had all predicted increases). This percentage rises to 80 % for total sales. As a result, companies have revised down their expectations for the current half-year, which are now roughly in line with the final figures for the first six months.