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EU Data Shows Machine-Tool Sector Contracting

Jan. 30, 2020
Q3 results from regional trade consortium CECIMO showed new orders declined for the fourth consecutive quarter, in a context of "weakening trade flows and … eroding business sentiment" among European manufacturers.

European machine-tool producers' new order intake continued to decline during the third quarter of 2019, the latest summary available for manufacturing technology in the region. It also noted that regional production of new machines fell during the July-September period. It was the fourth consecutive quarter of declining demand in the region, according to Cecimo – the European Association for the Machine Tool Industries and Related Manufacturing Technologies.

Cecimo is a consortium of machine-tool trade associations for 15 countries, who together comprise 98% of the total machine-tool production in Europe and about 33% of the worldwide production.

The 3Q slowdown in orders occurred in the context of "weakening trade flows and an eroding business sentiment among European manufacturing," Cecimo explained, noting that the region's machine-tool sector is in a contraction mode now.

According to the new report, Europe's seven largest machine-tool manufacturing nations recorded a Q3 2019 decrease in new orders of -23%, compared to Q3 2018.  Q3 2019 domestic orders also fell by -23% year-over-year, while foreign orders intake fell -22% on a yearly basis.

Within the individual member countries, Q3 2019 new-order intake also was negative: • Austria, -5% year over year; • Czech Republic, -24%; • Germany, -25%; • Italy, -18%; • Spain, -37%; • Switzerland, -25%; and • the United Kingdom, +4%.

The record for 3Q 2019 domestic orders shows significant annual decreases:
 Austria, -2% year-over-year;
 Czech Republic, -49%;
 Germany, -29%;
 Italy, -18%;
 Spain, -69%;
 Switzerland, -12%; and,
  the United Kingdom, which posted a 20% year-over-year increase in domestic new orders.

As for foreign orders for machine tools, the individual national results for Q3 2019 show:
 Austria, -5%;
 Czech Republic, -14%;
 Germany, -23%;
•  Italy, -13%;
 Spain, -32%;
 Switzerland, -28%;
  the United Kingdom, -6%.

Looking forward, Cecimo estimated that machine-tool production would register a full-year decrease 2019 decrease of -0.6% versus the full year of 2018 data. Machine-tool consumption is estimated to reflect a -2.9% year-over-year decrease compared to 2018.

Cecimo’s Quarterly Economic and Statistical Toolbox for Q3 2019, with further detail on developments in the European machine-tool sector, is available for download. For question or more information, contact [email protected]. 

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