European materials handling production value decreased by 6.8% at just under €56bn in 2013 under the combined effect of a low domestic demand and stagnating exports, according to the FEM.
Although the production of equipment lost 5%, repair and maintenance lost 13%.
With an overall total of nearly €56bn, the production value is back at its 2005 level. Domestic demand recorded a substantial decline of -12% at €29bn, only ¾ of its 2005 level.
On external trade, exports stagnated at €22.9bn. European manufacturers are getting closer and closer to making the majority of their business outside Europe. Imports grew by 6.5% at €4.9bn; external competitors are thus gaining a little more market share though the trade balance is rather stable and still largely positive (+€18bn).
Olivier Janin, FEM secretary general comments: “The share of exports in our production value means that our manufacturers compete more and more on external markets. Their competitiveness is therefore crucial and a big part of it comes from their ability to innovate. European policies ought not to limit but to foster such an ability so as to safeguard industrial manufacturing in Europe.”