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The VDMA reports full order books

German mechanical engineering is booming. Two regional branches of the VDMA (German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association) report latest survey figures almost at the same time. For both, the overall picture is very good.

25 Jul. 2018
The VDMA reports full order books (Chart: VDMA)

For Berlin, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thüringen, the Landesverband Ost (Regional Association East) recorded a capacity utilization of at least 90% for the majority of respondents, while 91% of companies considered the current economic situation to be very good or good – after some strong years of growth. “We had not expected this dynamism to continue so strongly because of the growing obstacles to trade”, comments Reinhard Pätz , Managing Director of VDMA Ost in connection with the US trade battle.

The fly in the ointment was predictable, however: eastern German mechanical engineering companies are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit well-qualified technical staff. Although 38% of companies are intending to appoint new staff, four out of five firms report difficulties in filling vacancies. By contrast, the south-west of Germany is currently enjoying an above-average increase in staff numbers, according to an economic survey : 3.2% in 2017, to a total of over 318,000 employees in mechanical engineering in Baden Württemberg. The fact that this is possible in times of such a striking shortage of technical staff tells us something about the appeal of BW as a location. By contrast, the east feels “at a disadvantage because of a comparatively unattractive infrastructure”. But the south-west has a more cautious view of the situation as far as orders are concerned; “only” 77% of the companies there describe it as good or very good.