VDMA forecasts 2013 manufacturing increase

By Helen Wright06 September 2012

German machinery production is forecast to increase 2% in 2013 on a price-adjusted basis, according to the latest outlook from the German Engineering Federation (VDMA).

The trade association noted that it had forecast zero growth for 2012 back in February this year, but machinery production had in fact risen in the first half by 4% year-on-year and is forecast to rise by a further 2% in the second half.

VDMA chief economist Ralph Wiechers said, "Our start this spring was better than we had expected - a fact which has driven up full-year expectations."

But, like this year, 2013's growth will come in a challenging economic environment. The VDMA forecast that the first quarter would actually see a reduction in production compared to the strong growth of 8% recorded during the first three months of 2012. But it said this would be likely to turn into positive territory again as the year progressed - provided there was at least some brightness in the wider economic situation.

The VDMA said an essential requirement for growth in German machinery production next year would be a de-escalation of the sovereign debt and Euro crisis that has overshadowed 2012. In addition, the forecast also assumes that the economies of key international markets - particularly China - will improve next year, increasing the opportunities for German machinery manufacturers to grow their market share.

VDMA managing director Hannes Hesse said, "We are aware that our forecast would not hold up should the problems in the Eurozone escalate."

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