German mechanical engineering suffers in 2019

Last year was unsatisfactory for the German mechanical engineering industry, which saw order intake go down by -9% year-on-year, according to its federation, VDMA.

“Overall, 2019 was a disappointing year for mechanical engineering companies in Germany,” VDMA says in a statement seen by Kallanish. Companies recorded a -9% drop each in domestic and foreign orders.

“In summary, 2019 was an economically-gloomy year for the mechanical and plant engineering industry in Germany,” says VDMA economist Olaf Wortmann. International trade disputes, increasing protectionism, Brexit, 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 order books,” Wortmann says.

The end of the year was no exception. In December 2019, orders fell short of the previous year’s level by -7%. Domestic orders in the final month were down -5%, with -7% fewer orders coming from abroad. In October to December 2019, orders were down -11% y-o-y, with domestic and foreign orders trending relatively equally.