The market remains stagnant for Italian woodworking machinery, according to the latest report.

In its 2002 fourth quarter analysis, Acimall (the Italian woodworking machinery and tools manufacturers’ association) says markets are all affected by negative signals, except for Russia which is continuing to expand.

The figures show a total order rally of 10.8% for the quarter compared to the same period in 2001, mainly due to foreign orders which represented 70% of all business. However, Acimall regards this as “misleading”, as orders were very low in the fourth quarter of 2001 due to the September 11 tragedy.

About 47% of Italian companies indicate stationary production trends, 29% believe it is growing and 25% falling. Foreign business is worth €2bn annually to the firms.

Luciano Costa, Acimall president, said the fourth quarter was characterised by market stagnation and a widespread “waiting” attitude.