German steel users lower 2019 production forecast

Production at German steel and metal processing companies in the first half of the year was down -2.4% on-year, Kallanish learns from steel users federation Wirtschaftsverband Stahl- und Metallverarbeitung (WSM).

Since April, the number of employees in the industry has also been declining, after years of increasing employment. WSM has therefore lowered its production forecast for 2019 from 2% growth to “…stable at best.” The federation does not completely exclude a change for the better. However, it cautions that any growth impulse requires political support, at least through the normalisation of international trade policies and the associated improvement in investment confidence.

At the national level, proposals to revive the taxation of wealth would have the opposite effect, WSM argues. Burdens on entrepreneurship must be reduced and the competitiveness of industrial value chains strengthened. Taxes, levies and especially energy costs must be reduced in the short term, the federation demands.

On the eve of the next session of the German government’s working group on climate affairs on Wednesday 4 September, WSM also warns of increasing costs for CO2. Among other things, it demands that money collected this way ought to be used for the support of investments for technical innovation, and should be harmonised at the European level.

“Bans do not lead to a common goal; this is only possible through technical innovation that best comes from the manufacturing industries,” says WSM economist Holger Ade.