Following two years of substantial growth, the German machine tool industry expects a modest increase in production output of 1 per cent during 2013. “This means the sector will be back to its previous high from 2008”, reports Martin Kapp, chairman of the VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association), speaking at the organisation’s annual press conference in Frankfurt am Main.
Last year was better than expected: the good starting position of full order books and capacity utilisation at a high level sustained production throughout 2012, said Kapp. With growth totalling 9 per cent, the sector achieved a production volume worth 14.1 billion euros.
Exports performed even better: 9.5 billion euros, representing a rise of 20 per cent, is the highest figure ever measured.
The single biggest market continues to be China: with a volume of around 2.4 billion euros and growth of 14 per cent, the Chinese market bought more than twice as many German machines as the second-largest market, the USA.
For 2013, the VDW’s forecasting partner, Oxford Economics, is confident that industrial production output and fixed-asset investments will once again show a somewhat steeper increase worldwide. This applies primarily to Asia and America, less to Europe.
For the machine tool industry in Germany, the expectation is of stable order levels. Once again, the primary impetus will be coming from Asia. Currently, early indicators in China, which most recently had been ordering 30 per cent less, are on the up again. The Purchasing Manager Index rose to more than 52 points in January 2013 compared to its nadir in August 2012. Industrial production output, too, is again showing double-figure growth.
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