Machinery Production Slows As Economic Uncertainty Continues | Automation.com

Machinery Production Slows As Economic Uncertainty Continues

Machinery Production Slows As Economic Uncertainty Continues

January 31, 2013 - The continued global economic slowdown has had a severe impact on worldwide machinery production, with growth in all regions falling significantly in 2012 compared with 2011. According to IMS Research, worldwide growth in machinery production stood at 6.3 percent in 2012, more than 10 percentage points lower than the previous year.

Asia Pacific has coped best through the period of global economic turbulence, and has continued to grow faster than any other region. Even China, though, has seen growth in machinery output fall – down to an estimated 9.1 percent in 2012 (compared with 19.9 percent in 2011) – as a result of the weakening demand from a struggling Europe and shifting domestic monetary policies. Although this is the slowest rate of increase seen in many years, it still makes China one of the fastest growing nations.

Meanwhile, in Europe, the continued economic uncertainty has taken its toll. Sovereign debt problems, high unemployment and falling exports have meant that economic growth has been slow at best throughout most of Europe. For the region overall, GDP in 2012 stood at less than 1.0 percent, and is projected to remain as such throughout 2013, with several countries (including Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain)  expected to see declines in both years. Although machinery production is expected to outperform GDP, this backdrop is not one conducive to strong investment from Europe’s manufactures. Demand from better-performing economies, such as Asia and Eastern Europe, is not enough to prop up weak demand from the bigger Western European nations. Currently, the machinery production growth rate for Europe is forecast to be 3.5 percent in 2013, some way behind the 9.4 percent forecast for Asia Pacific. The Americas has fared reasonably well in contrast to Europe, growing 7.6 percent in 2012; rather faster than the 4.2 percent seen in Europe; within this, wind turbine production was amongst the best performing sectors, increasing by an estimated 18.7 percent. 

Within machinery production, there was significant variation between the different sectors. The semiconductor equipment sector, which is a notoriously cyclical industry, saw steep declines in 2012; so too did photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing equipment, suffering as a result of significant over capacity. Agricultural machinery, on the other hand, has held up reasonably well, supported by strong commodity prices, indicating that amongst the uncertainty there remains areas of optimism.

About Machinery Production Yearbook – World – 2012 report
These annual reports are designed to provide marketing and technical executives, financial institutions and investment managers with an up-to-date, comprehensive description of global machinery markets and will identify the trends that will have an impact over the next five years.

About IMS Research
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS (NYSE: IHS), is a leading supplier of market research and consultancy to over 2500 clients worldwide, including most of the world’s largest technology companies. Established in the UK in 1989, IMS Research now has dedicated analyst teams focused on the factory automation, automotive, communications, computer, consumer, display, financial & ID, LED & lighting, medical, power & energy, solar PV, smart grid and security markets.  Currently publishing over 350 different syndicated report titles each year, these in-depth publications are used by major electronics and industrial companies to assess market trends, solve marketing problems, and improve the efficiency of their businesses.

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