Annual Report 2015

General and industry-specific economic environment

The expansion of the global economy slowed in 2015. After global output had gained some momentum towards the end of 2014, the growth rates stabilised again at a low level in the summer months of 2015. Over the year as a whole the global economy expanded by 3.1 percent, a lower rate than had been expected (3.5 percent). On the other hand the economy in the eurozone achieved moderate growth in 2015 and, as in the USA, economic output was on the rise. Even if the German economy’s momentum slowed somewhat in the course of the year, a number of early indicators point towards a revival at the end of the year. The slight cooling-down detected recently was mainly attributable to muted activity in German industry as a result of flat export trade.

Change of Gross Domestic Product in percent

  2015 2014
World 3.1 3.4
USA 2.5 2.4
Eurozone 1.5 0.9
Germany 1.5 1.6
China 6.9 7.3
Emerging Countries 4.0 4.6

The VDMA (German Engineering Federation) again had to adjust its expectations downwards in the past year. The federation had forecast a business recovery leading to a rise in production output of two percent for the German mechanical engineering sector. According to VDMA figures, mechanical engineering companies closed their order books for 2015 with real growth of one percent.

While the level of orders for the machine tool sector was broadly flat at the turn of 2015/2016, the printing industry as a whole fared rather better. At year-end, incoming orders for printing presses were nine percent up on the previous year, while the decline in revenue slowed further.