German engineering sector sees rise in foreign demand | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 29.11.2012
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German engineering sector sees rise in foreign demand

German engineering companies have experienced a marked increase in orders from abroad, bringing many months of contracting business to an end. But domestic demand remains sluggish amid investment uncertainties.

German engineering firms saw their order books filling up in October as foreign demand for machine tools increased considerably.

The German Engineering Federation (VDMA) reported on Wednesday that monthly orders from abroad climbed by 11 percent, while domestic demand dropped by 1.0 percent.

In the period from August through October, inflation-adjusted demand soared by 10 percent, ending a protracted slump earlier in the year. VDMA Chief Economist Ralph Wiechers said it was gratifying to see orders rise even from debt-stricken eurozone nations, but added that the biggest demand comes from North America and a number of emerging economies.

Stable employment

The umbrella organization pointed out that a sector-by-sector look at recent developments revealed a rather heterogeneous picture.

While German turbine and industrial process engineering experienced the biggest rise in demand in October, the mining and rolling mill segments posted losses of more than 20 percent last month.

Germany's engineering industry currently employs over 900,000 workers. While small and medium-sized enterprises constitute the backbone of the sector, it also includes a number of big DAX-listed companies such as ThyssenKrupp, Gea and Gildemeister.

hg/mz (dpa, dapd, Reuters)