Orders of Italian textile machinery increased 46% during the fourth quarter year-on-year, according to the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMT).

The orders index for textile machinery reached an absolute value of 130.4 points, driven by a positive trend in Italy.

"The fourth quarter data is comforting, and is a good omen for 2013, but we still need to consider that overall the year 2012 closed with a decrease compared to 2011," said ACIMIT president Sandro Salmoiraghi.

On an annual basis, however, the order index fell by 4% to a value of 108.6 points. In Italy, orders edged down 1% year-on-year, while foreign markets saw orders decline 21% year-on-year.

"In Italy, we're registering the effects of an overall climate of scant confidence in the future, a fact that is common to businesses and families alike," added Salmoiraghi.

"We need reforms capable of promoting growth, such as those recently proposed by Confindustria, aimed at cutting business costs - starting from the cost of labour, while boosting investments in capital goods.

The next government should prioritise these issues in its industrial policies, Salmoiraghi stressed. 

With the industry recognising 80% of their turnover abroad, he also called for collaboration to drive growth internationally and for greater investment in the Italian Trade Promotion Agency to promote Made in Italy products in foreign markets.