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German machine tool industry performing valiantly

Order bookings and turnover remain at a high level

Frankfurt am Main, 2 November 2015. – In the third quarter of 2015, order bookings in the German machine tool industry fell by 1 per cent compared to the preceding year’s equivalent period. Domestic orders rose by 9 per cent, while demand from abroad was down by 7 per cent. In the first nine months of 2015, order bookings stagnated compared to the previous year. Domestic orders fell by 3 per cent, with demand from abroad up by 1 per cent.

“In the year’s third quarter, our sector was boosted by orders from Germany itself and from the Eurozone,” comments Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director of the trade organisation VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association) in Frankfurt am Main. To general surprise, Western Europe proved to be the motor for demand in the German machine tool industry. The Americas, by contrast, were disappointing, with orders down across the board. Asia as a whole scored with modest growth. Good business with South Korea and Japan, however, was offset by a substantial minus in orders from China, the biggest market.

Domestic business, which accounts for round one-third of total order bookings, remained a support as well, driven by consumers’ purchasing moods, and concomitant investments from the industrial sector.

In the first three quarters of 2015, orders settled to a high level. In the same period, turnover even rose by 2 per cent. The VDW is confident that this will be repeated in the overall result for 2015 as well. This does not quite correspond to the expectations at the beginning of the year. “Back then, we were forecasting growth of 3 per cent. In a comparatively cyclical sector like the machine tool industry, however, forecast fluctuations of one per cent are not so uncommon,” says the VDW’s Executive Director. The macro-economic environment, he adds, also encompasses a whole lot of uncertainties. “Nonetheless, with a result of what would then be around 14.8 billion euros, we’re up at our best level,” says Wilfried Schäfer in conclusion.


The German machine tool industry ranks among the five largest sectors in the country’s mechanical engineering segment. It supplies production technologies for metalworking applications to all categories of manufacturer, and makes a crucial contribution towards progressing innovation and productivity in the industrial sector overall. Due to its absolutely key position for industrial production output, its development is also an important indicator for the economic vigour of the country’s industrial sector as a whole. In 2014, the German machine tool industry produced machines and services worth around 14.4 billion euros, and was employing about 71,600 people (annual average for 2014, firms with more than 20 staff).


For further information: Bernhard Geis, VDW Business and Statistics, Tel. +49 69 756081-42, b.geis@vdw

Responsible for the content of this press release: Verein Deutscher Werkzeugmaschinenfabriken e.V.


Verein Deutscher Werkzeugmaschinenfabriken e.V.
Corneliusstraße 4
60325 Frankfurt am Main
+49 69 7560810
+49 69 75608111

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