Year-end without surprise

by Hans Diederichs

Overall, 2019 was a disappointing year for mechanical engineering companies in Germany. Compared to the previous year, the order books for 2019 as a whole show a real decline of 9 percent.

The end of the year was no exception, there was no surprise. In December 2019, orders fell short of the previous year's level by 7 percent in real terms. Domestic orders in the final month were down 5 percent, with 7 percent fewer orders coming from abroad.

A look at the 2019 financial year reveals a significant decline in order books: Overall, the mechanical engineering industry recorded a 9 percent drop in domestic orders, while foreign orders also fell by 9 percent. "In summary, 2019 was an economically gloomy year for the mechanical and plant engineering industry in Germany. International trade disputes, increasing protectionism and the Brexit adventure as well as the far-reaching structural change in the automotive industry have led to uncertainty and a reluctance to invest. This has left a clear mark on the order books," explained VDMA economic expert Olaf Wortmann. Incoming orders from the euro countries show a minus of 8 percent for 2019, with 9 percent fewer orders coming from non-euro countries.

In a three-month comparison of October to December 2019, orders were down 11 percent in real terms compared with the previous year. Domestic orders fell by 11 percent, while incoming orders from abroad fell by 10 percent. Orders from the euro zone fell by 11 percent, with 10 percent fewer orders coming from non-euro countries.

Source: VDMA    Photo: Shutterstock

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