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Industry reboots: April production exceeds pre-Covid levels

by admin

MILANO – After the caution on consumption that emerged from the retail sales data, theState relaunches a signal of optimism on the recovery by disseminating the data on industrial production for the month of April, during which the seasonally adjusted index of industrial production is estimated to have increased by 1.8% compared to March: this is the fifth consecutive month of economic growth. A leap that allows the index to exceed “the pre-pandemic levels of February 2020”.

Obviously, the trend rebound is very strong. In the annual comparison and adjusted for calendar effects, the overall index increases by 79.5%, “due to the exceptionally low figure of April 2020”, when the greatest restrictions on production activities for the containment of Covid took place, with the lockdown.

The findings of Istat come the day after the investigation by Federmeccanica, which – after a black 2020, which ended with a collapse of 13.5% – has traced a recovery that has allowed volumes to grow by 15.6% in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period of 2020 and 0.8% compared to the previous quarter. However, two critical elements also emerge for companies: the cost and availability of raw materials and the difficulty in finding qualified professional profiles.

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On the first front, the dynamics of prices has now become a real supply difficulty: a problem suffered by most companies and which for 14% could even lead to an interruption of production. Furthermore, on the labor front, the difficulty of companies (56% of them) in finding the necessary professional profiles worsens. “A virtuous circuit must be activated with well-targeted investments in education and effective active policies – the general manager of Federmeccanica Stefano Franchi observed yesterday – We must do quickly and do well”.

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Remaining with today’s Istat data, the positive climate concerns all groups of industries: capital goods (+ 3.1%), energy (+ 2.4%), intermediate goods (+ 1.1%) and, to a lesser extent, consumer goods (+ 0.5%).

If we look instead at the sectors of economic activity, the annual rebound is staggering (but distorted by the comparison with 2020) for all, except for basic pharmaceutical products (-3.2%). The largest growth characterizes the sectors of the textile, clothing, leather and accessories industries (+ 363.2%), the manufacturing of means of transport (+ 327.3%), other industries (+ 160.9%), manufacture of articles in rubber and plastic materials (+ 149.3%) and metallurgy and manufacture of metal products (+ 132.8%).

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