A majority of German companies working in the plastics composites sector think prospects for their businesses have improved, according to a survey by umbrella organization Composites Germany.
The companies are asked in the regular survey for their opinions about the general business situation in the composites market and about their own future developments.
When asked to assess the general business situation in three regions — Germany, Europe and worldwide — 84 percent of respondents said they view the current worldwide business situation as quite positive or very positive.
Composites Germany noted an upturn in companies' optimism regarding their own businesses in this latest survey, conducted in the second half of 2016.
“Whereas the previous survey [in first-half 2016] displayed a downturn in the satisfaction of businesses with their own current and future situations, the current survey clearly shows an increase,” it said.
In the previous survey, for instance, 29 percent said they expected their situations to improve in Europe, whereas in the current survey this value has risen to 40 percent.
By contrast, the proportion of those expecting a negative development has stagnated at 5 percent.
The investment climate continues to be friendly, the survey showed. About three quarters (73 percent) of companies are still assuming that they will invest in machinery, although Composites Germany noted this was a decline from the previous survey.
The survey showed that the market sectors driving growth are still expected to be the automotive and aviation markets.
“As for materials, CRP (carbon fiber-reinforced plastics) continues to be the number one growth driver, mentioned by 38 percent of respondents. Nevertheless, this is a significant downturn compared with previous surveys,” said Composites Germany.
The members of the Federation of Reinforced Plastics (AVK), Carbon Composites (CCeV), CFK Valley Stade (CFK-Valley) and VDMA, took part in the bi-annual survey.