German machine firms forecast more output

German machine firms forecast more output

FRANKFURT - Agence France-Presse
German machine firms forecast more output

An employee of controls a part of the a machine at a plant in Stuttgart. Germany’s machine-tool makers are hopeful of thls year despite European economic woes. REUTERS photo

Germany’s machine-tool sector, a key pillar of industry, announced yesterday it expected to grow by about 2 percent both this year and next year, despite slowing growth in Europe’s top economy.

“The machine and plant construction industry is confident it can notch up further growth next year,” said the head of the VDMA industry association, Hannes Hesse.

“Our VDMA economists are projecting a price-adjusted increase in output of around 2 percent for 2013. And we’re also upgrading our forecast for the current year from zero to 2.0 percent,” he said. In the first six months of the current year, machine tool output grew by 4.0 percent, VDMA said. “We got off to a better-than-expected start early in the year. That will boost our full-year performance,” said VDMA’s chief economist Ralph Wiechers.

Next year, output might actually contract in the first three months, not least due to statistical effects following the strong first-quarter performance this year.

“But on the general assumption that the global economic environment will brighten, machine tool output will return to positive territory,” Wiechers said.