A rise of 34% in Italian construction equipment sales was reported for 2015 over the previous year, with exports also growing in that period.

According to data from the Italian institute for Statistics (Istat) processed by Prometeia for the Samoter Outlook, 9,138 units were sold in Italy during 2015.

This consisted of 8,813 earthmoving machines – a rise of 32% – and 325 road machines – up 180%.

Exports grew as well, although growth was less than the previous year at 7%. Exports of drilling equipment rose 22%, tower cranes were up 21%, and road machines grew by 18%, while earth moving machine sales increased by 8%.

On the negative side, exports of crushing and screening equipment fell 4%, and concrete equipment was down 4%.

Imports grew, up 15%, according to the Istat figures. They showed that the industry trade balance was positive at more than €1.54 billion, recording an increase of 4.5%.

Paolo Venturi, president of Italian construction machinery and equipment manufacturers’ trade association Unacea, said, “After the darkest years of the crisis, Italy seems to have taken the right path of a gradual recovery.”

He said two consecutive years of growth could only be a good result for the industry.

“However, to understand the trend fully, it must be remembered that this is a more than moderate growth in absolute terms, because it came after six years of heavy losses that have reduced the domestic market by 80%.”

He said, “This is why we continue to believe that the recovery has to be promoted and supported, especially in such a period of strong financial instability.”

He said that with this in mind, Unacea welcomed a memorandum of understanding from the Ministry of Environment, the Conference of the Regions, and representatives of the Italian municipalities on the cutting of emissions through measures to boost the renewal of obsolete fleet. He said that Unacea had repeatedly called for this.

“Now it is necessary to establish the best practical rules for the implementation, taking into account all the vehicles which circulate and work in our cities,” added Venturi.

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