Mechanical engineering companies in Europe are enjoying the highest growth in turnover since 2011. Initial estimates from VDMA's economists indicate that turnover for machinery and plants (not including service) rose by 6 percent in the reporting year 2017, to 777 billion euros.
Development on the world machinery market was not quite as positive as in Europe. Total global turnover for machinery and plants grew by 1 percent, to 2.55 trillion euros, having fallen by 1 percent in the previous year.
"Investment in the industry finally got going in 2017, especially in the EU countries. Activity on the European market has sped up noticeably over the last year. We expect the upswing in mechanical engineering to continue in 2018," says VDMA Chief Economist Dr. Ralph Wiechers, assessing the development.
China remains largest single market
The machinery market in China shrank by almost 6 percent last year, although this did not change the People's Republic's status as the world's largest machinery producer - a position it has maintained since 2009. VDMA experts estimate the total turnover for 2017 at 910 billion euros. However, exchange rates also play a role in this figure; if the turnover is left in the national currency renminbi, the fall is just 2 percent.
As in previous years, the USA is second in the global ranking. Turnover there rose by a predicted 3 percent, to 326 billion euros.
The world's third largest machinery producer was Germany - unchanged since 2013. Turnover in 2017 is estimated at 274 billion euros, corresponding to a rise of 5 percent.
Machinery producers were also able to increase their turnover in Japan (fourth place) by 2 percent to 243 billion euros. Italy, in fifth place in the world mechanical engineering ranking, increased its turnover by a predicted 5 percent, to 119 billion euros. The first five countries in the list represent 73 percent of the turnover in the global machinery market.
With turnover of 1,355 billion euros, Asia remained the largest production region by a significant margin in 2017. Although this is a considerable fall from 1,395 billion euros in the previous year, it still means that more than half of the total global turnover for machinery was generated in Asia. The American continent rose by 5 percent to 407 billion euros, making it the third largest producing region after Asia and Europe. (sno)