CECIMO, the European group for associations representing machine tool manufacturers, has published the latest edition of its Economic Toolbox – this largely covers data for the 2nd quarter of 2023, although some monthly series have later figures.

The Toolbox document groups information into 6 categories covering historical data for the sector, demand, investment, the business climate, general economic indicators and information on related sectors.

The highlights this month include:

  • The main Business Climate Indicators continue to show unfavorable conditions with the European Business Confidence Indicator falling into negative territory in the 2nd quarter and slipping further in July and August.  The Purchasing Managers Index for the Euro-zone (and most of the individual countries) is also very weak.
  • CECIMO‚Äôs estimate of Machine Tool production in 2023 has been revised slightly downward although it still expects growth of +5.5%;  this is in the context of a forecast of a decrease in the global total of around -2.5% thanks to declines in China, the USA and Japan.
  • The introduction of a new project to give an indication of the trend for total orders;  this is based on data for orders for manufacturers in the 8 of the largest CECIMO countries – Austria, Czechia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.  It uses mathematical models which take a range of indicators and project the orders data forward for 5 or 6 quarters.
  • The European Commission’s Summer Economic Forecasts (September2023) show that the EU economy is still growing, albeit at a slower pace.  The forecast for EU growth has been revised downwards to +0.8% in 2023 and +1.4% in 2024.  Overall, the weaker growth momentum in the EU is expected to persist until 2024 and the impact of tight monetary policy will continue to dampen economic activity.
  • Looking at related sectors, recent developments show improvements in both automotive and aerospace activity.  While expectations for output growth in the automotive sector are stronger in Europe and Asia, the situation in the US is less optimistic due to the UAW strike.  As expected, the aerospace sector also recorded higher net orders and deliveries in the period from January to August compared with the same period last year.
  • According to the latest data from the World Bank, there was a notable increase in energy prices of +7.8% in August, mainly due to significant increases in the natural gas market in Europe, while metal prices remained more stable.

You can access the Toolbox via the CECIMO website at https://www.cecimo.eu/economic-data/toolbox/ (unfortunately, the file is too large to attach to this report) – please indicate that you are a member of MTA when requesting a copy (despite what it says on this link, the document is free to members of the association);  alternatively, we can email this if you contact Geoff Noon (email:  [email protected]) but this is a large file (22Mb) that may get blocked by some systems.

There is, however, an alternative route to access much of the information that is contained within the Toolbox as CECIMO has an economic dashboard which we have linked to the new MTA website.  The sections are arranged slightly differently from the format used in the Toolbox and cover:

  • Machine Tool production
  • Machine Tool consumption
  • Machine Tool orders
  • CECIMO and country level trade
  • Business Climate
  • Industrial Production Index (IPI) & Capacity
  • Macroeconomic indicators
  • Related sectors (customer industries)
  • Additive (results from the European AM Survey)

You can access this on the MTA website at https://www.mta.org.uk/members-area/cecimo-dashboard but you will need your login and password details to access this page as it is for members only.

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