Incoming orders in the German machine tool industry rose by 2% in the second quarter of 2018 compared to the same period last year. More specifically, orders from the domestic market increased by 29%, while orders from abroad fell by 9%. Overall, orders increased by 12% in the first half of 2018, with domestic orders rising by 34% and orders from abroad by 3%. Capacity utilization in July 2018 was very good, at 93.2%.
Incoming orders for metal forming manufacturers were at last year's level in the second quarter of 2018, with domestic orders rising by 22% and foreign orders falling by 10%. Overall, orders increased by 11% in the first half of 2018, with domestic order rising by 24% and orders from abroad by 5%. Capacity utilization in July 2018 was average, at 87.2%.
According to VDW Managing Director, Wilfried Schäfer, capacities in both sectors are reaching their limits, with companies reporting both material and labor shortages by the middle of the year. Employee numbers in the machine tool industry attained a new record in May 2018, with almost 73,700 employees. The last time that figure was higher was back in the early 1990s.