EU Machine Tool Builders Relying on Domestic Demand

Nov. 8, 2016
Third-quarter 2016 new orders for machine tools weakened in Germany and Italy, though the larger German industry is contending with weakness in the home market and stronger demand for exports, the Italian industry is reporting the stronger domestic demand and slower demand from out-of-market buyers.
New-order trend for the German machine tool industry.

Third-quarter 2016 new orders for machine tools weakened in Germany and Italy, two of the largest contributors to the European machine-tool market, and two of the largest machine-tool exporting industries in the world. While the Europe’s machine-tool manufacturers have regained some growth momentum in the past year (after a slow recovery from the 2009 recession) the latest trends show that weak global industrial demand still having some effect.

The results are found in the 3Q activity summaries issued by VDW, the German Machine Tool Builders Assn., and UCIMU, the Italian trade group representing manufacturers of machines tools, automation systems, and auxiliary products. Both VDW and UCIMU are members of CECIMO, the European Union-wide federation of machine-tool trade associations; earlier this year, CECIMO presented an encouraging outlook for EU machine tool output and an even more optimistic view of the trend for machine tool exports, in spite of global industrial weakness.

For the third quarter of 2016, the German machine tool industry’s new orders rose by 8% compared to Q3 2015. Domestic (i.e., German) orders were down by 14%, though demand from abroad increased by 22%.

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About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)

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