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Trends in production and sales of German machinery industry 2008 - 2016

German machinery industry's production stagnating, sales slightly rising, further growth limited by changed export markets

The analysis of production and sales of the German machinery industry during the nine years from 2008, the year of the breakout of the last world economic crisis, up to 2016 identifies three trends.

Production does not exceed stably its pre-crisis level from 2008

December 18th, 2017; first published August 27th, 2012 - During these nine years production exceeded its pre-crisis level (134.2) only in December 2014 and 2016. The annual high in 2017 remained so far below the pre-crisis level with 133.4 index points in March. So production does not lie above its pre-crisis level in a stable manner.

Production has increased by just 0.2% p.a. in five years

Production climbed out from the crisis low until the end of 2011. Since then it has been swinging up and down around an average line at 115.8 index points (2016).

In these five years from 2012 to 2016 production grew only by 0.2% per year, i.e. stagnated. In other words, production has been stagnating, moving sideways since then without upward or downward trend.

Production machinery industry in Germany from 2008 to 2016.

Sales stable above pre-crisis level

Sales could exceed other than production their pre-crisis level several times having established a stable level above pre-crisis level.

Sales of machinery industry in Germany from 2008 to 2016.

Sales stagnated for two years and then grew from 2014 to 2016

Out of the crisis low sales pass over into stagnation for two years from 2012 to the end of 2013. During this period they slightly grow just by 0.5% per year. In contrast to production, sales finally overcome this period of stagnation and grow by 1.2% per year during the following three years from 2014 to 2016.

In December 2015 sales even mark with 155.9 index points their peak since the outbreak of the world economic crisis. However, this peak cannot be exceeded in 2016.

Trend to value-added machines since 2014

Stagnating production, slightly higher sales – so machines becoming more value-added since 2014.

What is the outlook für 2017?

Sideways moving is the probable outlook for 2017 due to structural changes in export markets

The analysis of the worldwide crisis overcoming from 2008 to 2016 shows that the usual general upward business trend after a crisis failed. In its place the worldwide industrial production is showing a coexistence, a close relation of growth, stagnation and setbacks to each other. We have characterized this new phenomenon as a structural change in the process of crisis overcoming.

This structural change is coining the course of the industrial production in the industrialized countries and the BRIC countries. Industrial production in the MIST countries is in a general upward business trend.


The structural change with its close relation of growth, stagnation and setbacks to each other in the world economy is also limiting the opportunities on the world market for the German machinery industry keeping it caught in a sideways range.

Comparing export shares of the German machinery industry with the course of industrial production in those export countries that absorb 80% of the machine exports from Germany, it becomes apparent that the export shares are lagging behind industrial production in the export countries apart from the USA.

The Quest Trend Magazine has raised the question about a changing demand structure for machines as a possible reason. But the fact alone that export shares do not climb together with increasing industrial production has an limiting impact on the development of production and sales of the German machinery industry.

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