Arsutoria Tannery – 04/18The new issue of Arsutoria Tannery is out. Read it for free
The recovery which comes and goes
After shelving a 2017 with moderately positive indicators, but which are enough to make one hope for a trend reversal, The National Footwear Assembly faces the disappointment of 2018’s first quarter with an abrupt halt.
Indeed, sectoral data show a not so brilliant beginning of the year for Italian footwear with regard to both foreign sales and production rhythms. Exports registered a timid +0.1, against a drop in volume of more than 3% in comparison with the same period last year.
The problems are attributed to the CSI area, which has interrupted the promising recovery, showing a Russian market with serious difficulties, and to the crisis in the Far East (Japan in particular) falling sharply, not compensated even by the Chinese market’s recovery.
The solution? Footwear companies agree that the US market is the one with the best growth prospects in the next few months, but the horizon remains uncertain and foggy, especially if we consider another two unresolved problems: on one hand, internal consumption, which continues to remain at a standstill even at the beginning of 2018; on the other hand, the crisis of companies and the employment crisis, which got bigger in 2018’s first quarter.
Similar worries are also present in the sectors of tanning machines, footwear machines and leather-goods machines, despite the last few record years.
The message is clear: the recovery is happening; today it is, tomorrow, maybe…. To keep focusing on sustainability and innovation (as we can see by reading this issue) seems to be the only hook for a future of growth.