German Engineering Industry VDMA Expects Zero Growth in 2012

Author / Editor: Eric Culp / Jürgen Schreier

The German engineering federation VDMA has lowered its expectations for production growth this year from 4% to zero.

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VDMA president Thomas Lindner cited ongoing concerns within Europe and a weakening economy in China as reasons for downgrading its outlook for machinery and plant construction. The federation had warned in December that it might be forced to revise the forecast for 2012, which was first announced in September.

Individual sectors within the German engineering industry are expected to show varying levels of performance this year, Lindner said. Production of tooling machinery, for example, is seen to be rising 5%, but output for plastics-processing machinery will probably fail to reach 2011 levels.

The expected stagnation in German production machinery manufacturing as a whole follows two strong years of production growth. Last year, output adjusted for inflation jumped 12%—just short of expectations—to some €187 billion. Production rose 22% over the course of 2010 and 2011. Exports for January through November 2011 were 14.5% higher than the year-earlier period, Lindner said.

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Frankfurt/Main, Germany