Barrera reports an 'annus horribilis'15 August 2003
In his closing statement as president of Assomac, Giuseppe Barrera described the trading conditions of the past year as an 'annus horribilis'. Barrera who stepped down as president, after serving four years, gave the statement at the associations annual general meeting in Italy on June 27. He said that 2002 was an 'acceptable' year with the tanning and leathergoods machinery sectors increasing exports by 7.5% and 1% respectively. However, footwear machinery sales were down 1% and spare part exports fell by 9.5%. Barrera cited a 10% overall fall in domestic sales in 2002 for all sectors and said that between July 2002 and June 2003 the situation had worsened. The situation had become so bad that job layoffs had occurred at the worst affected companies. He blamed the war in Iraq, SARS and poor consumer markets in the USA, Germany and Japan, which have spread to other markets as the reasons for the drop in business. 'The crisis has hit the whole of the manufacturing sector and has halted investments in new technology. The under valued dollar against the Euro has also caused difficulties for businesses in the Euro zone', he said.