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Fewer orders in October: decline in mechanical engineering continues


TIME ONLINE | News, backgrounds and debates

Frankfurt / Main (dpa) - The order slump has the German engineering firm still firmly under control. After a slight relaxation in September, the decline in orders accelerated again.

In October, orders were 11 percent lower in real terms than in the same month of the previous year. In September, there had been a minus of four percent.

"The latest signs of hope for an end to the economic downturn in German industry are not yet noticeable in the order books of the mechanical engineers," said Ralph Wiechers, chief economist of the industry association VDMA, in Frankfurt.

First, one must wait and see how sustainable the signals are for an end to the economic downturn, or whether they would not be disturbed by a tweet from US President Donald Trump or other events, said Wiechers.

Experience has shown that it takes awhile for an economic recovery to be reflected in the order books of the mechanical engineers and subsequently in sales.

There was a double-digit loss in October in both domestic and foreign orders. "In many fields of mechanical engineering, we are seeing customers withholding their investments. The reason for this is continued uncertainty as to how the global economy will continue in the short and medium term, "Wiechers said.

The export-oriented German key industry is clearly being hit by this uncertainty due to international trade conflicts, the slowdown in the global economy and structural changes in the auto industry. Since the beginning of the year, orders have fallen steadily.

The export is also weakening meanwhile. In the first nine months, exports including price increases (nominal) only increased by 0.6 per cent to € 134.6 billion compared to the same period of the previous year, as the VDMA recently reported. Whether there is a plus for the whole year, seems questionable. During the year, the situation had worsened progressively.

In the light of the weak data, the VDMA recently expected a decline in production of 2 percent each for this and the coming year. In the past year, the industry with well over one million employees had still achieved a plus of 2 percent.

Press site VDMA

Explanations from chief economist Wiechers on Youtube

Source: zeit

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