World Market For Machines Safely Navigates Through Increasingly Rough Waters In 2018



Despite all trade disputes and political quarrels, new machines and plants were in demand worldwide last year as well. According to estimates by VDMA economists, sales of machinery in 2018 rose by a total of 4% to 2.6 trillion euros. The mechanical engineering sector in Asia developed above average. With an increase of 5% to just under 1.34 trillion euros, Asia remained by far the largest manufacturing region in the machinery industry. Slightly more than half of the total world machine turnover was generated there. The growth rate in Europe as a whole and in the EU countries as a whole corresponded to the global average of plus 4%. The EU countries produced significantly fewer machines (694 billion euros) than Asia, but more than twice as many as the USA (plus 2 to 334 billion euros). "The growth in worldwide machine sales is encouraging, but could have been even higher in a calmer political environment. We will probably not really see the consequences of the trade disputes or the brexit until this year due to the long lead times in the mechanical engineering sector," commented VDMA Chief Economist Dr. Ralph Wiechers on the results.

Since 2013, Germany has maintained its position as the world's third-largest machine manufacturer. Last year, the sales volume reached 297 billion euros (plus 4 %). The Federal Republic of Germany thus accounted for a good 11% of worldwide machine sales. China once again ranked at the top by a clear margin. The country has held the title of the world's largest machine manufacturer since 2009. Total sales of 856 billion euros in euro terms represented an increase of 7 % over the previous year. Machine manufacturers in Japan (4th place) were also able to increase their sales by 2 % to 264 billion euros. Italy, number 5 in world mechanical engineering, increased sales by 4 % to 126 billion euros. In the case of Italy and also the USA, depreciation relief is providing a tailwind.

The top five countries in the ranking (China, USA, Germany, Japan, Italy), together account for 72 % of total global machine sales.