THE "R-WORD" HANGS ABOVE THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
Many industrialized and emerging countries are experiencing an economic downturn. It remains to be seen whether this will turn into a global recession. But the burden companies have to bear is increasing - also because politics has become so unpredictable.
BREXIT: HOPE FOR THE BEST, PREPARE FOR THE WORST
The EU member states have adopted a draft agreement on the modalities of Great Britain's withdrawal from the EU. But since the deal might be vetoed by the British parliament, companies should still prepare for a possible hard Brexit.
HOW TO DEAL WITH CHINA?
China is not only a huge market for European companies, but also a major competitor. The EU now wants to establish tighter control of Chinese investments in Europe - a step that is sparking controversial debates within the industry community.
THINGS ARE LOOKING UP AGAIN ON THE WORLD MACHINERY MARKET
Turnover for machinery and plants in 2017 hit 2.6 trillion euros - a 1 percent increase over the previous year. The machinery market in Europe developed especially well, with turnover rising by 6 percent.
TRADE POLICY REACHES A CROSSROADS
Free trade is essential for the existence of mechanical engineering. Exports account for around 77 percent of the German sales of 224 billion euros (2017). 660,000 jobs depend directly on these exports. More than one third of exports already go to countries with high import barriers.