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According to EY’s analysis , in 2018 the German mechanical engineering industry increased sales by 4% to over €249 billion. At the same time, the number of people employed in the industry neared the million mark, at 989,000. Exports to eurozone countries even rose by 6%. Money is being well-invested, notably in digitalization, with companies investing on average 4.4% of their total revenue in this. “Since lead times in mechanical engineering are very long, events like Brexit or new trade barriers are going to have a delayed impact on the figures,” believes EY partner Stefan Bley.

Yet the manufacturing sector, which also includes the mechanical engineering industry, already appears to be feeling the effects of initial cuts. Referring to figures from Germany’s Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) , German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel reports that the industry is experiencing a “sharp decline in new orders”. The figures show that incoming orders in February 2019 were down 4.2% on the previous month, and as much as 8.4% on February 2018.