The world economy 2006 and its effects on the European mechanical engineering industry

20 September 2006

Now that the second half of 2006 has already started, it is time to update the predictions on the development of the global economy and the development of the European mechanical engineering industry.

The global economy started very robust into the year 2006. It is expected that the global GDP will rise by at least 3.5%. Main driver is the still strongly growing US economy that is predicted to grow by 3.4%. Also the dynamic in the Euro area (+2.1%) and Japan (+2.9%) has noticeable increased. Not unexpectedly China (+9.5) and India (+7.5) will again outpace them.

The high demand of raw materials in Asia has helped countries in Latin America to have the highest economic growth for decades. Even the high oil price seems to have no significant negative effect on the global economy so far. Fur-ther positive impulses are coming from various industries esp. the chemical and process industry.

Schlegel and Partners got the impression that the booming oil and gas, mining and raw materials industry as well as the recovering automotive industry are driving the mechanical engineering industry to new records. The rising prices for raw materials could at least partly be passed on to the customers. In discussions with our mechanical engineering customers the major problem seems to be overloaded order books due to the huge demands they are facing.
Our key impression of an extremely successful first half year is supported by the statistics for the first 5 months of 2006:

So far the EU25 mechanical industry production is partici-pating in this dynamic environment and was able to grow by 6.4% in the first half of 2006. In the 2nd quarter 2006, the dynamic was even hardening. Again, Germany is the European front runner (+6.9%), but also France (+4.9%) and Italy (+4.5%) are performing extraordinarily well.
The forecasts for 2006 were raised for nearly every Euro-pean country. It is now expected that the EU 15 mechanical engineering industry will at least grow at 3.6% in 2006. Norway with its Oil and Gas industry (+9%) and Germany (+5%) with its huge export rate are expected to have the fastest growing mechanical engineering industries. But also Italy and France are going to grow faster than last year. Globally, the VDMA expects the machinery sales to rise by 6%.

As in the last years, the EU 25 power transmission industry production has seen disproportionately high growth of 8.9% in the first half of 2006. This growth is nearly completely driven by the German power transmission industry (+13.1%). France (+0.6%) and Italy (+1.4%) are stagnating.

So for 2006, everything is indicating that the mechanical engineering and esp. power transmission industry will have another record breaking year and it is time to start thinking about 2007.
Your contact person
Ursula Hosselmann
Director Engineering Markets


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