Header-Märkte und Konjunktur

Markets & Economy
How is mechanical engineering developing in the age of global value chains? Where do your competitors come from? What support is available for market development? What regulations must be observed when exporting? What needs to be considered when deploying employees and regarding visas for foreign guests? Together we will find answers to your questions.

Themenfeldgrafik Märkte und Konjuktur

Aus unseren Inhalten

Aus unseren Inhalten
More and more hurdles and protective walls hamper European machinery exports

On behalf of VDMA, the Global Trade Allert Team of the University of St. Gallen has investigated the impact of protectionism on European machinery exports. Around 80% of EU machinery exports are hampered by government trade intervention.

We guide you through the data jungle

The Economics and Statistics department provides you with all industry-relevant economic and market information. Benefit from our expertise and use our statistics as a basis for smart business decisions.

Successful abroad - Export topics

VDMA Foreign Trade supports you and your export business. We prepare topics relevant to mechanical engineering for you: up-to-date and easy to understand.

Welcome to VDMA Foreign Trade!

The VDMA Foreign Trade team supports VDMA member companies in the internationalization of mechanical and plant engineering. We provide you with practical support in all matters relating to foreign business.

Macroeconomic country information now as an interactive report

A new interactive web report provides a concise overview of the most important country-specific macroeconomic data - including forecasts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and information on the business environment.

VDMA flash survey on energy supply and material bottlenecks

Despite the economic slowdown, many companies are optimistic. They have every reason to be - after all, they have a sizeable order backlog and supply chains that are slowly easing. Although energy supplies remain problematic, production stoppages have so far been largely avoided. Cancellations are also the exception.

Intensify cooperation with Japan

Germany and the EU are called upon to intensify cooperation with allies like Japan. There is still considerable potential for mechanical and plant engineering in Japan.

Machinery exports show double-digit growth in January

According to provisional figures, machinery exports from Germany rose by a nominal 17.8 percent year-on-year in January 2023.

Global machinery turnover in 2022: New record level

In 2022, machinery and equipment sold worldwide was worth almost 3.4 trillion euros. In euro terms, this is around 12 percent more than a year earlier. In the TOP 10 country ranking, there were changes from seventh place onwards.

Mercosur agreement must finally be implemented!

The EU is competing with China and the USA for market access in the Mercosur countries. The EU's free trade agreement with Mercosur, which has already been agreed, is a great opportunity for both regions.

The challenge of securing skilled labor

Advancing digitalization, the development of climate-friendly technologies and the mobility revolution - the machinery and equipment manufacturing industry is facing enormous challenges. Securing the availability of skilled workers is becoming a mammoth task.

Latin America Chart Pack: Market Facts and Figures

Latin America is gradually recovering after the pandemic triggered a deep slump in GDP and also in machinery demand. The chart pack offers facts and figures on the market.

Indonesia between free trade and protectionism

There are many reasons for European companies to think about diversification of supply chains, production sites and sales markets. Indonesia is increasingly coming into focus in the machinery and plant engineering sector.

Networking events for members

Overview - Events on the topic of reporting obligations for work assignments in Europe

International bulletin

In a choppy macroeconomic environment, mechanical engineering output in many countries remained on growth track in 2022.

First members' meeting in Egypt

For the first time, VDMA held a members' meeting in Cairo. Participants discussed market situation and current challenges in Egypt.

The Inflation Reduction Act and its impact

What are the effects of the IRA on the American market and what are the consequences for the European mechanical and plant engineering industry? Current VDMA publication provides an overview.

Relief needed for small European businesses

Some Inflation Reduction Act tax incentives require that all subcontractors use U.S. apprentices on the jobsite. This is impossible for many VDMA member companies.

Bottleneck for trade fair visas

Trade shows are finally underway again, and visa practices are hampering the success of the events. Foreign visitors and exhibitors report problems obtaining visas.

Enforce sanctions against Russia consistently!

The machinery and plant engineering sector continues to support the economic sanctions against Russia. The question is whether they were extensive enough and enforced with the necessary political consistency. At the same time, they show some serious shortcomings in terms of craftsmanship: Errors in the lists of goods or the lack of 'blacklisting' of many Russian defense companies.

VDMA welcomes the proposals for the entry into force of the trade agreement

The EU-Commission has presented the trade agreement with New Zealand for ratification. VDMA welcomes this step and hopes that this will soon also be the case for other EU trade agreements.

Machinery exports to Russia halved

The decline in exports will continue in 2023.

Investment guarantees for Ukraine remain open

In order to support the Ukrainian economy, the Federal Republic of Germany is maintaining its investment guarantees for Ukraine. This means that private-sector investment projects can continue to be made possible.

Oil & Gas experts discuss int. H2 markets (EN) 22./23.03.2023

On 23.3.2023 industry experts will again discuss the oil & gas markets incl. climate neutral solutions in D-A-CH, Europe and overseas. Hydrogen is the focus topic. Networking at the dinner before. Language: EN

Industry Structures North America

The VDMA regularly produces data sheets with structural data for the mechanical engineering industry. Currently, the statistics for the USA, Canada and Mexico for the year 2021 have been published. These are available in our statistics database.

Salary benchmark Czech Republic 2023

Study provides an overview of current salary structures for 80 key positions in both manufacturing and business-related services.

Machinery exports to reach record level in 2022

The USA further strengthened its position as the most important export market for mechanical and plant engineering last year. Exports increased by a total of 11 billion euros to a good 192 billion euros. Adjusted for prices, a small minus remained in the books.

VDMA text template for your annual report

The same exercise every year: As part of the preparation of the management report, an overview of the overall economic development and the situation of the industry usually has to be provided.

Kazakh industry benefits from high raw material prices

High raw material prices have given the Kazakh economy a powerful cash injection. Machinery exports from Germany reach new highs.

Focus on service deployment - balancing capacity bottlenecks

Schengen visa may allow short-term deployment of non-EU service technicians in Germany.

Quarterly report machinery & equipment in China Q4 2022

The quarterly report "Machinery & Equipment in China" contains relevant key figures such as production, sales, profit and investment development about the local machinery industry as well as important customer industries in China.

ICS2 system for air cargo will become mandatory on 01.03.2023

ICS 2 - The import processing requirements that will apply as of 01.03.2023 will bring changes for declarants. Adjustments to operational processes are required here.

VDMA Work Talk

Members bring their questions to the virtual talk with the VDMA Tax, Legal and Foreign Trade departments. New series of events starting in March 2023.

Significant minus at the end of the year

The overall economic situation and international supply chain problems did not make things easy for companies in the machinery and plant engineering industry last year. The 2022 annual financial statements bear a clear minus. Demand for capital goods slumped noticeably in the fourth quarter of 2022 in particular.

The importance of the Internal Market and EU Free Trade Agreements

MATO GmbH & Co. KG and VDMA made it clear to MEP Udo Bullmann (S&D) how export-oriented companies depend on a well-functioning Internal Market and Free Trade Agreements.

Posting to Italy - Checking the obligation to declare and reporting made easy

Web event on March 29, 2023 from 10 to 11 am. Cooperation of AHK Italy with VDMA.

Forfaiting guarantee from mid-2023 closes export financing gap

The German government has announced a real reform of export credit guarantees (Hermes cover) for July 2023. A forfaiting guarantee will make the purchase of Hermes-covered export receivables more attractive for banks.

Hermes applications continue without application fees for Click&Cover process

Until mid-2023, exporters can still save money and submit Hermes applications for contract values up to 5 million euros via the Click&Cover application process at no cost. Contracts with price escalation clauses can also be covered.

Forecast uncertain

Ukraine's economic performance has collapsed catastrophically in 2022. How it will continue depends solely on the course of the war.

VDMA brochure "Tips for successful business in India

Updated edition 2023 is available.

Implementation of the Posting of Workers Directive in Germany

In order to implement the Directive, the German legislator has made amendments to the Employee Posting Act (AEntG) - in particular with regard to remuneration and the granting of working conditions.

Another step in the fight against bureaucracy?

The EU-Commission called on 17 EU Member States to comply with the EU Posting of Workers Enforcement Directive.

USA: Trade linkages through intra-firm trade

The U.S. Census Bureau's "Related-Parties Trade" statistics provide information on U.S. imports and exports with related companies. According to this, more than half of U.S. machinery imports came from related parties in 2021. In the case of Mexico, the figure was as high as nearly 80%.

Chancellor's trip to South America

The basic agreement between the EU and the Mercosur states on a free trade agreement was reached more than three years ago but has still not been implemented. Time is pressing; there is pent-up demand for closer cooperation, especially in Argentina and Brazil.

Finally a real reform of the public export finance promotion scheme

A long-standing demand of the VDMA is being implemented: the reform of export financing finally brings the possibility to sell Hermes-covered export receivables to banks. This means that, for the first time, there is small ticket export financing that mechanical engineering companies can actively market.

Africa's economic interests rightly come into sharper focus

Cooperation with Africa is to be geared more closely to the countries' economic interests. This is the right approach, because good economic conditions are the basis for Africa's sustainable, social and ecological development. To achieve this, the German government now needs a unified interministerial Africa strategy.

Foreign trade statistics: Changes as of 01 January 2023

The new regulations on foreign trade statistics entail changes for information providers as of the reporting month January 2023. Adjustments to the operational systems are required here.

The entry into force of the new EU instrument

The Regulation on third country subsidies that distort the Internal Market entered into force on 12 January 2023. What does this mean for our member companies?

VDMA promotes free trade with MEPs

VDMA met with MEPs in Strasbourg to promote free trade. The main topics of discussion were the Inflation Reduction Act, trade relations with China and the Free Trade Agreement with Mercosur.

Research allowance gains momentum: Mechanical engineering is strongest user

The VDMA has called for tax-based research funding with great commitment, and it was introduced in 2020. The research allowance has developed successfully so far, with mechanical engineering being the strongest user. At the same time, there is a need for optimization in order to make the research allowance even better known and to expand its success.

Our expert and focus topics

Our expert and focus topics
The United States
The USA remains a key market for the German engineering sector. It is our biggest export market and investment location outside Europe. Local standards, complex tax laws and legal liability are just some of the challenges that new market entrants often have to deal with.
Europe and China
The perception of China in Germany and Europe has changed in recent years. Firstly, China is an important economic partner and also of significant importance for the German mechanical engineering sector. On the other hand, there is growing recognition at economic and political level in Germany and the European Union (EU) that the existing imbalance with China, for example in market access, is no longer acceptable.
VDMA Infoportal Ukraine War
The machinery and plant engineering sector condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. The VDMA supporta its member companies in word and deed in order to master the many challenges that are arising.
Economic Development & Business Situation
The economic cycle plays a significant role in almost every area of the economy. After all, it plays a key role in determining the well-being of companies and employees. In fact, it is particularly relevant in the mechanical engineering sector. After all, it plays a key role in determining the well-being of companies and employees in the mechanical engineering sector.
Export Topics
The VDMA provides support on the most important export-related issues, such as customs, export financing and export control. We also monitor and accompany developments in global trade policy.
Statistics database
The VDMA statistics database offers all VDMA member companies fast and convenient access to economic information on all aspects of mechanical engineering. The use of the VDMA Order Intake and Sales Statistics Germany is exclusively reserved for those companies that participate in the survey.
Market development
The engineering markets are constantly on the move worldwide. It is difficult to keep track of everything. The VDMA therefore provides information on current developments as well as on interesting events and trade fairs, advises its members and offers a comprehensive network for market entry analyses.
Market observation & information
Comprehensive information on markets is essential for sustainably and successfully conducting foreign trade. A broad collection of data is just as important as the experience gained through on-site activities, which benefits all members thanks to the VDMA's well established network.
International Business Travel
Globalization necessitates travel throughout the life cycle of a machine: Sales, commissioning, assembly and maintenance. For corporate travel management, this poses an organizational challenge: Do I need a visa, and if so, which type? Which documentation is required? Which regulations apply when posting workers within the EU?
Work assignments in Europe
Regarding work assignments in Europe, three completely different topics - "reporting requirements", "social law: A1 certificate" and "labor law: posting of workers directive" - are increasingly moving into the spotlight.

Level 1 Themenwolke

To the point

To the point

Auf den Punkt Zitat Markets and Economy

"China's state intervention creates unequal market conditions."

Ulrich Ackermann, VDMA Department Foreign Trade

Auf den Punkt Zahl Markets and Economy


billion euros

of machinery exports from Germany in 2022

Source: VDMA

Auf den Punkt Zusammenfassung Märkte und Konjunktur

International forecasts available
  • International forecasts available 2023
  • Global economy loses momentum
  • Stagnation in global machine sales possible in 2023
  • three scenarios considered



Aus unseren Inhalten

Unsere Leistungen

Unsere Leistungen


Flash survey on energy supply and material shortages
Rising prices and difficulties with energy supplies are a real test for the mechanical engineering sector. Supply chains also remain under tension, although there are signs of a slight easing in metals and metal products.
Download: Mechanical engineering in figures and images 2022
Our brochure "Mechanical Engineering in Figures and Pictures 2022" provides a comprehensive overview of all major figures and statistics relating to the mechanical engineering industry.


Economic bulletin international
Our monthly bulletin provides periodic updates on economic trends in the international mechanical engineering sector.


Germany Economic Bulletin
Data on the economic situation of the German mechanical and plant engineering industry in the current economic context
VDMA Trade Fair Calendar 2023
With the trade fair calendar, we have been offering our members an orientation guide to the global range of trade fairs relevant to mechanical engineering worldwide for many years.


Germany Incoming orders
The monthly figures for incoming orders in the German mechanical engineering industry
Database of technical regulations
The VDMA Specifications reflect the technical specifications of the German mechanical engineering industry. The directory contains all VDMA Specifications that are currently valid and in preparation.
VDMA Foreign offices
Here you will find links and further information on the VDMA liaison offices located in particularly important foreign markets


Markets & Economy Committee
Committee on Macroeconomic Issues

The regular, practical assessment of the international economic situation of the mechanical engineering industry in the committee is an indispensable contribution to the VDMA's economic analysis, including short-term forecasts. In addition, the committee members support the VDMA's economic policy commitment by interpreting and discussing the content of economic developments and interrelationships in a political context.



Bodo Finger

Maschinenfabrik Mönninghoff

Markets & Economy Committee
Committee on Foreign Trade

The Foreign Trade Committee exchanges views on professional issues and tasks relating to exports. The members represent a cross-section of the mechanical engineering industry. They are part of the company's management or play a key role in exports. The Foreign Trade Committee mainly deals with market strategies for individual countries and regions as well as export issues such as trade policy and foreign trade policy.




Stefan Hantke


Asset Publisher

VDMA partners

Institut für Weltwirtschaft Kiel
German Economic Institute
Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
gtai - Germany Trade & Invest

Ihr Kontakt

Ihr Kontakt



Benefits for you as a member

Largest industry network in Europe

Around 3,500 primarily medium-sized member companies in the capital goods industry make the VDMA the largest industrial association in Europe and the most important network organization in the industry.

Strong representation of interests

The VDMA is the most important voice of the machinery and equipment manufacturing industry. It represents the common economic, technical and scientific interests of the industry in Germany and around the world.

A wide range of services

More than 500 VDMA employees worldwide support you with practical services to make the right decisions in your company - along the entire value chain.