In the second quarter of 2017, order bookings in the German machine tool industry fell by seven percent compared to the preceding year’s equivalent period. Domestic orders were down by 27%, while export orders rose by four percent. In the first half of 2017, total order bookings shrank by one percent, with domestic orders decreasing by 15%. Order bookings from abroad were up by six percent. Forming technology is performing better than metal cutting machinery.
“With the mid-year figures, we’re well on course of our expectations,” commented Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director of the sectoral organisation VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association) in Frankfurt. Export orders continued their uptrend, with the Eurozone nations still constituting the principal drivers. Their orders rose twice as steeply as orders from the rest of the world. Following the substantial growth of last year, driven primarily by project business with the international automotive industry, the high level achieved is predicted to continue through 2017.
“Domestic demand, however, was a disappointment in the year’s first half,” added Schäfer. This remained weak, due not least to a base effect owed to the high growth achieved during the first half of 2016. This effect, however, is now coming to an end. For the second half of 2017, significantly better figures are anticipated. This reflects the optimistic mood in the business community, the rising cyclical indicators for Germany, and the macro-economic forecasts, which pundits have only recently revised upwards.