Imports rose by 3.9 percent - Business with China and Russia on an upswing; business with Great Britain and Turkey declining
Machines and plants made in Germany are required around the world for the modernization and digitalization of production. This is reflected in this year's positive export balance: In the first nine months, mechanical engineering companies increased their exports compared to the previous year by a nominal 7.4 percent to 124.4 billion euros. In the third quarter 2017, exports increased by 7.1 percent to 41.4 billion euros. At the same time, imports of machines and plants to Germany grew by 3.9 percent to 51.8 billion euros in the period from January to September.
"It is very encouraging that the growth is firmly based in the regions," says Dr. Ralph Wiechers, VDMA Chief Economist. "The establishment and expansion of local industries is being promoted in many countries around the world despite all political uncertainties. The mechanical engineering companies in Germany contribute to these developments with their high-quality products and excellent on-site service," Wiechers explains.
"The establishment and expansion of local industries is being promoted in many countries around the world despite all political uncertainties. The mechanical engineering companies in Germany contribute to these developments with their high-quality products and excellent on-site service."
Although the USA maintained its position as the most important export nation in the first nine months of this year (plus 10.6 percent to 13.2 billion euros), it was business with China that recorded the biggest boost. Exports to the second-largest export market increased by 24.1 percent to 12.8 billion euros. "The measures initiated by the Chinese government to stimulate the economy are clearly noticeable here," comments Ulrich Ackermann, Head of VDMA Foreign Trade. He adds that it is encouraging to see that business with Russia is picking up after the past few years.
Exports to Russia grew by 22.8 percent to almost 4 billion euros. "However, this is still a long way from previous trade volumes," says Ackermann, putting the figures into perspective. German mechanical engineering companies exported goods valued at 57.8 billion euros (a plus of 3.3 percent) to EU countries in the first nine months. Exports to Great Britain (minus 4.5 percent to nearly 5.5 billion euros) and Turkey (minus 2.3 percent to 2.8 billion euros) declined. Many customers are hesitant to invest in both countries in light of the political uncertainties.