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Exports Drive Growth in Europe’s Machine Tool Industry

During CECIMO’s General Assembly in Izmir on 24 November the Economic Committee confirmed that weak European domestic demand for machine tools is being compensated for by good export performances. This is against the EU Industrial Policy having identified advanced manufacturing technology as a priority area.

The Committee announced that the production of machine tools is expected to reach 22 billion Euros in 2012, an increase of over 6% from the previous year, but warned that future growth would depend on foreign order intakes and that new order income had been weak in recent quarters. The output of the European machine tool producers showed strong growth in 2011, increasing to 20.8 billion euros, which is over one fourth higher than the level of 2010. During the first quarter of 2012, the orders’ intake for European machine tools continued to increase. Despite weaker order income results from the following
quarters and based on a strong order book, machine tool production is nevertheless expected to grow by more than 6% in 2012.

CECIMO believes that low machine tool consumption reflects the cautiousness of European businesses as well as low production activity, mostly in Southern-Europe. Coupled with the
scepticism spreading among the managers of manufacturing companies, European machine tool consumption is estimated to contract by about 77 million euros in 2012 compared to previous year.

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