Forecasts for rate of recovery in global machinery production

Paul Boughton
Following the global economic downturn, machinery production has now returned to growth in the vast majority of nations - though this is not surprising considering the magnitude of the decline in 2008 and 2009. More interesting, however, is the question of when production will return to the peak levels seen before the downturn.
According to forecasts that form part of the IMS Research 'Machinery Production Yearbook' many countries will still not have regained the machinery production levels of 2007 or 2008 even by 2013. IMS Research forecasts that, of the large regions, only Asia Pacific will have surpassed its pre-recession levels. This recovery will, of course, be fuelled to a large extent by China, but many other fast-growing economies such as India and South Korea will also have recovered.
In Europe, however, with established, developed industries throughout the region, recovery will take longer. The current uncertainties over sovereign debt, together with the sluggish growth of the general economy associated with the severe cuts in public expenditure to be taken across Europe, contribute to the slow predicted rate of recovery of machine production.
In America, the picture seems a little brighter. Having come out of the recession slightly earlier than Europe, and with the recovery looking smoother, machinery production is predicted to have regained in 2013 the levels seen before the recession - but only just.
The difference between the regions' performances is striking, with machinery production in Asia Pacific predicted to grow by over 11 per cent in 2010, in the Americas by just under 4 per cent, and in Europe by less that 3 per cent.
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