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VDMA Construction Equipment and Building Material Machinery: 2013 Appears Fragile, however no Reason for Worries

The Association represents the interests of some 300 companies that manufacture machinery and facilities for the construction, building material, natural stone, ceramics and glass industries. A weak start to the year followed by a gradual improvement throughout the following months: This forecast for the year 2013 on the economic development of its industry by VDMA’s Association on Construction Equipment and Building Material Machinery made in February seems to become even more true – although there are differences when looking at all the divisions the industry comprises. bauma – the industry’s leading international fair held in April – in particular helped to change the industry’s mood significantly. Directly or indirectly it led to a great number of new orders, but in the meantime a downturn is visible again. With the restrained forecast of the industry, this year’s scenario can probably best be interpreted to be a side movement. However, in light of the very good high absolute level the industry currently is on, there is no reason for any worries, was the common view of the association’s board at their summer meeting held in Hameln/Northern Germany in July. With regard to construction equipment, currently only the industry division of building construction is growing. In the last couple of weeks an increase in demand was visible in all areas. However, it has to be feared that the negative growth during the weak first quarter for earth works and road construction machinery will probably have been too big to make a turnover result near zero for the entire year. The demand on building material machinery was higher in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year, due to effects by special projects. Even if these should wear off slightly in the next couple of months, a growth for the entire year 2013 is still very realistic. The Middle East, especially Saudi-Arabia, Russia – although with a slightly decreasing dynamic, the central Asian states and, with some cut-backs, North America and Brazil are among the markets that currently work the most positively. Germany, France and Scandinavia remain rather stable. At the negative end are, as before, the Southern European countries. China and India are disappointing also: after a weak year 2012, there has currently not been a real upturn yet. The German construction equipment and building material machinery industry made EUR 12,5 billion in turnover in 2012. Of this, EUR 7,9 billion were on construction equipment and EUR 4,6 billion on building material, glass and ceramics machinery. (7/2013)

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