German machine tool industry hits the ground running

German machine tool industry hits the ground running

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German machine tool industry hits the ground running

In the first quarter of 2018, order

bookings in the German machine tool industry rose by 22 per cent compared

to the preceding year’s equivalent period. Domestic orders were up by 39

per cent. Orders from abroad increased by 15 per cent.

“Our sector is continuing to turn in a highly dynamic performance during

2018,” comments Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director of the sectoral

organisation VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association) in Frankfurt

am Main. “Last year’s excellent performance is thus being seamlessly

progressed. Domestic orders remain the prime mover. They increased far more

than twice as substantially as demand from abroad,” Dr. Schäfer added.

Metal-cutting and forming technologies made equal contributions to the

first quarter’s growth. Capacity utilisation was running at 93.4 per cent.

Production set to rise by another seven per cent in 2018

The ongoing boom in almost all user industries worldwide had already driven

production output and order bookings to a record high last year. With a

plus of seven per cent, production output had in 2017 passed the

16-billion-euro mark. “Based on a sizeable increase in orders last year,

which is set to continue, we see for 2018 as well potential for higher

growth in production output than was still being anticipated in February,

and are raising our production output forecast from five to another seven

per cent growth,” explains Dr. Schäfer from the VDW.

The sector is confident that the global economy will continue to offer a

good business environment for the industry’s investments. The upturn in

demand stands on a broad foundation in terms of both technologies and

markets. High capacity utilisation necessitates capital investment in

expansions and replacements. “If bottlenecks in the production process,

staffing, and component deliveries do not become too serious, this

ambitious target should be well within reach,” says VDW Executive Director

Dr. Schäfer in conclusion.

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