Annual Report 2014

General and Industry-Specific Economic Environment

The rate of global economic growth slowed noticeably in summer 2014. The global economy became susceptible to disruptions such as geopolitical developments and turbulence on financial markets. The rise in global industrial production in the second and third quarters was only half that of the previous half-year spanning the winter. Global economic growth reached an overall 3.3 percent and was thus weaker than expected. The eurozone’s recovery, too, faltered. The 0.8 percent increase in gross domestic product was much weaker than envisaged one year ago.

As early as summer 2014, the German mechanical engineering industry had to make a major correction to its forecast of a 3 percent rise in production output. The German Engineering Federation VDMA has confirmed its downgraded production forecast for 2014 of plus 1 percent.

The printing industry again performed more weakly than the mechanical engineering sector overall. Revenue from printing presses after the full twelve months was 12 percent down on the previous year, and incoming orders were 5 percent below the prior-year figure.