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Italian Wood-furniture Supply Chain 2023 Revenues Fell More Than Expected

MILAN FederlegnoArredo, the Italian federation of woodworking and furniture industries, said inflation impacted the sector in 2023.

According to its most recent monitor report, the organization said turnover of the wood furnishing sector fell 8.1 percent in 2023 to 52.6 billion euros, according to preliminary figures prepared by FederlegnoArredo Study Center released Tuesday at a press conference for the Salone del Mobile.Milano furniture trade show. The figures were based on data compiled by Italian statistics bureau Istat.

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The 8.1 percent drop was lower than a previous forecast of 7 percent released in December.

“The decline in the supply chain as a whole has also been caused by the physiological decline in internal demand, after two years of exceptional growth,” stated FederlegnoArredo president Claudio Feltrin, who cited inflation as one of the main factors in the sector’s negative performance and added that sales from the domestic market fell 10.1 percent to 32.7 billion euros and revenue generated from exports declined 4.5 percent to 20 billion euros. Feltrin added that the Italian furniture market faces an “uncertain macro environment” into 2024 with Germany and the U.S. “struggling.”

The ongoing Suez Canal crisis will have a “profound impact on multiple fronts,” Feltrin said, noting the terrorist attacks on foreign container ships affects both exports from the wood supply chain and imports.

FederlegnoArredo Study Center listed France as Italy’s top export market for wood furniture, followed by Germany, the U.S. and China in seventh place.

In December, Federlegno said that exports of Italian furniture in 2024 should bounce back slightly, despite falling consumer confidence and restrained spending patterns worldwide.

Back in full swing, Salone del Mobile.Milano will take place April 16 to 21 and expects to welcome more than 1,900 exhibitors, in line with last year, its president Maria Porro told WWD during a preview released in January. At the six-day fair, more than 300,000 visitors are expected from the key markets of Europe, the U.S., and China, as well as Saudi Arabia, India and the Far East to catch a glimpse of the latest in furniture, kitchen and bathroom designs.