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03-09-2009

VDMA: Severe Slump in 2009

Just as other sectors of the economy has Germany’s plastics and rubber engineering industry been struck by the crisis – there has been a clear decrease in orders since the middle of 2008. Several major customer sectors – most of all automotive and building industry – are in lack of orders, too. Economic increase in the growth regions of Asia and Eastern Europe has come to a halt, while established markets in Europe and Northern America suffer from recession. One can hardly tell when demand will start to improve again. Taking all available data into account, turnovers are prone to decrease by approx. 20 % this year, as stated by the German Association for Plastics and Rubber Machinery within the VDMA.

Sales had been on a high level earlier, though. Turnovers achieved by the sector were stepped up by a nominal 7 %, to a total 5.6 billion EUR, in 2008, representing an all-time high in turnovers. Since 2002, production in the sector has shown growth rates between 5 and 14 %, only briefly interrupted in 2005. With its 25 % share in world production, German plastics and rubber processing industry has been world leader for years. And there was a further rise in exports in 2008, reaching another record level. Until the end of November, exports had risen by 4.5 %.

Most of all, the severe decrease in orders must be contributed to consumer sector projects that had to be rescheduled or stopped temporarily due to financing problems. This applies to more investment goods than consumer goods. However, general demand for German plastics and rubber machinery is still strong.

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