Italian furniture-industry exports unable to compensate for domestic-market collapse
Italian furniture manufacturers have again had to struggle against sharply declining domestic sales since 2011, a trend which especially affects small companies aligned primarily to the Italian market. The Italian furniture industry had already been hit hard by falls in turnover during the economic crisis. A sharp decline in production value of 17% in 2009 was followed in 2010 by only a minimal recovery of 1.6%. And in 2011, turnover even failed to reach the low level seen in the crisis year 2009. The branch association FederlegnoArredo reported a fall in production value in the furniture industry (incl. lighting) in 2011 of 4.8% to €20.269bn, which was accounted for exclusively by a plunge in domestic sales of roughly 13%. Export sales in 2011 improved by 4.3% to €10.433bn, while imports showed a slight rise of 2% to €3.167bn. This means that the domestic market showed overall decline of 9.7% to €13.002bn in terms of trade cost prices. The export share achieved by the Italian furniture industry increased significantly in 2011 to 51.5%.