Members of VDMA industry association think Germany's plastics and rubber machinery should grow 4 percent in 2015, after a relatively flat 2014.
VDMA said the machinery business bumped up 1 percent in 2014 from 2013 levels, but turnover in core machinery manufacturing remained unchanged at 6.8 billion euros ($7.75 billion)
That year-end performance is largely in line with VDMA's forecast last autumn, according to Ulrich Reifenhäuser, chairman of VDMA.
Thursten Kühmann, managing director of the Frankfurt, Germany-based VDMA, said incoming orders were up 3 percent in 2014 from 2013. The home market of Germany, and exports to the eurozone countries, have grown about 15 percent. But orders for machines exported outside of the eurozone were down 1 percent.
“The export figures also clearly reflect the recovery in our EU partner countries, with German exports to both the south and the east recording strong growth,” Reifenhäuser said.
China and the United States ranked first and second, respectively, for German exports. They “paused for break, albeit at a very high level,” Reifenhäuser said. Poland has moved into third place.
VDMA expects growth of German equipment exports to return in Latin America and China in the first half of this year.
Four percent growth would take the sales volume of German plastics and rubber machinery over the 7 billion euro mark for the first time.