Falling domestic and export demand hit Germany’s key mechanical engineering sector in December to end a difficult year, says the country’s engineering association, VDMA. The manufacture of machine tools is an important part of Germany’s industrial and export performance.In December alone, overall incoming orders were down by 6.0 per cent compared with the level in same month in 2012 with export orders falling by 4.0 per cent and domestic orders down by 10.0 per cent. Taking a three-month comparison to iron out short-term fluctuations, overall orders were down by 3.0 per cent in the period from October to December, with foreign orders falling by 2.0 per cent and domestic orders down by 4.0 per cent, VDMA calculated.
And for 2013 as a whole, it was a ‘difficult year for the mechanical engineering sector,’ with overall orders falling by 2.0 per cent, VDMA complained. “There was a sharp setback in December both in Germany and in the neighbouring eurozone countries” said VDMA’s chief economist Ralph Wiechers. “Data for a single month do not, of course, carry too much weight on their own. But we had hoped for a better end to a difficult year” Wiechers said.
“We’re now pinning all our hopes on 2014”.