Machine tools made in Germany are still very demanded so that the manufacturers of such tools are doing very well. This is the opinion of the association of German machine tool producers (VDW). According to this association, incoming orders increased by 14% over the first half of 2008 which is 14% more than in the same period last year. Orders from within Germany increased by 9% and those from abroad by 17%.
Due to this demand the number of employees in such businesses has for the first time since 1994 exceeded 70,000 people. Capacity utilization is above 96% and order books contains work for 9.2 months.
On the domestic market, however, some effects of saturation have already been registered. The driving force behind the profitable situation in the machine tool industry are orders from abroad. Foreign demand is still at a record level in particular due to the building up and expansion of industries in emerging countries and the so-called BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) as well as eastern Europe. Orders from important industrialized countries such as the USA, Switzerland, Spain and Great Britain have also increased since the beginning of 2008.