Germany’s mechanical engineers are preparing for worse business in 2019 due to growing trade conflicts. Although many companies are busy well into the coming year, the industry association VDMA announced.
Nevertheless, the export-oriented industry expects only a real increase in production of two percent compared to 2018. “As long as the uncertainties surrounding Brexit remain and the trade conflicts continue to escalate, the risks for the mechanical engineering industry in Germany will increase,” said VDMA chief economist Ralph Wiechers subdued prospects. The industry expects “a slowing economic momentum around the globe”.
For the current year, the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) confirmed its forecast of price-adjusted (real) five percent increase in production. “However, the risks have increased significantly,” said Wiechers. In the first seven months of 2018, the industry, with 1.35 million employees in Germany, achieved a production increase of 2.9 percent. In 2017, production had increased by 3.9 percent compared to the previous year.
Most recently, domestic business was doing well for Germany’s mechanical and plant engineering industry. In July, the medium-sized industry recorded nine percent more orders in real terms on the domestic market than a year earlier. From abroad, however, only one percent more “Made in Germany” machines were ordered in the month than one year before. Braking factors are the trade conflict with the US and the upcoming British exit from the EU