Economic environment

GLOBAL ECONOMY GROWING AT PREVIOUS YEAR’S LEVEL

Following an encouraging start to the year, sentiment regarding future global economic growth deteriorated again in the autumn of 2014. The focus returned more sharply to geopolitical crises, particularly the Russia/Ukraine conflict and the clashes in the Middle East. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is reporting worldwide growth of 3.3 per cent for 20141) as a whole, which is the same level as in 2013.

The economy in the eurozone only grew by around 0.8 per cent in 2014, but this does mean that the eurozone has recovered from the recession of 2013. Growth rates continued to vary greatly among the European countries. Germany remained the eurozone’s growth driver with an expansion rate of 1.5 per cent, despite the pace of growth slowing in the second half of the year. Spain has made good progress in overcoming the financial crisis and its economy has picked up, growing by 1.4 per cent. By contrast, Italy remained in recession and even France only managed minimal growth with scarcely any improvement on 2013. The revival of growth in the UK, where the economy grew by 2.6 per cent, is of particular note.

In 2014, the US economy was one of the major drivers of global economic growth. It expanded by 2.4 per cent (2013: 2.2 per cent), a higher rate than recently forecast, confirming hopes of a sustained economic recovery in the US. The US is also expected to provide strong growth stimulus in the year ahead.

The Chinese economy grew by 7.4 per cent, having slowed from growth of 7.8 per cent in the previous year. Conditions remained difficult in the truck and construction equipment sector, which is a core market for DEUTZ. The Russian economy experienced a massive downturn as a result of the crisis and sanctions, even though the IMF is still forecasting slight growth. Nor is the growth engine running smoothly in South America.

VARYING TRENDS IN DEUTZ CUSTOMER INDUSTRIES DEPENDING ON REGION AND SECTOR

Demand in DEUTZ’s main customer markets varied once again in 2014. According to preliminary figures, demand for construction equipment rose by 7 per cent in Europe and by 8 per cent in North America2), while it fell by 8 per cent in China3). According to DEUTZ’s own estimates, the agricultural machinery sector in Europe contracted by 8 per cent in the year under review. The market for medium and heavy-duty trucks shrank by 8 per cent4) in Europe and by 9 per cent in China5).

 

1) Source: IMF World Economic Outlook, January 2015.

2) Off-Highway Research, October 2014.

3) China Construction Machinery Association, January 2015 and own estimates.

4) Source: ACEA – European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, January 2015.

5) China Automotive Information Net, January 2015.