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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.

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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.

Analysis, assessments and options for action for business with China

China has developed rapidly and, as a result, undergone considerable change. This has an impact on the economic and political environment to which the machinery and plant engineering industry cannot close its eyes.

Deforestation regulation EU Regulation 2023/1115

The deforestation regulation forces us to act.

"Minister for the Economy must demand equal market access"

On his trip to China, Economics Minister Habeck should address the issues of overcapacity and market distortions. The unfair subsidization of Chinese companies must stop.

CBAM - CO2 border adjustment system

Major effort required to implement the CO2 border adjustment mechanism

20 years VDMA Working Group China

Anniversary meeting at Getriebebau NORD in Bargteheide

"China must prevent a trade war"

China's government is now called upon to prevent a trade war with the EU before the new tariffs come into force. European industry finally needs a level playing field.

International SOS offers a special for VDMA members

The long-standing cooperation with the VDMA has been adapted, which continues to offer exclusive special conditions for members and a regional extension to Italy, Austria and Poland.

Foreign investments

German investment stocks in foreign mechanical engineering increased by 14% in 2022. Investments are expected to be made in North America and the eurozone in particular this year.

Bulletin international

In many countries, mechanical engineering companies are still having to cut back on production due to the weak willingness to invest.

First plus for one and a half years

After one and a half years of continuous declines, orders in mechanical and plant engineering from Germany grew again for the first time in April. Compared to the previous year, there was an increase of 10 percent in real terms.

Official Euler Hermes Cover improves the application process

Orders up to 7 million euros can be processed quickly in the click&cover EXPORT application procedure. In the case of poor country risks, the upper limit for exports is 3.5 million euros.

Quarterly Report Mechanical Engineering in China Q1 2024

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

Labour shortage is costing turnover - every second company affected

Only two out of three companies in the mechanical engineering sector are currently able to fill the majority of their vacancies for skilled workers. The labor shortage is now also costing them sales.

German-British business community more optimistic

The results of the British-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce's spring survey show that more than a third of companies now have positive expectations for the future.

VDMA economic survey Q1/2024 - results are available

The VDMA Business Survey Q1/2024 ran from April 9 to 23. Over 1340 responses were received from 844 companies. The detailed results reflect a very good picture of the mechanical engineering sector and its sub-sectors.

Business culture in France - Are the French really that different?

When doing business in France, the following applies: seemingly wasted time in building relationships is ultimately the key to success.

Machinery exports with strong growth momentum in April

German machinery exports recovered noticeably in April 2024, with a nominal increase of 6.5% compared to the same period last year.

Machinery exports continue to decline in the first quarter

Exports in the mechanical engineering sector fell by a nominal 4.6% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2024. A total of 50 billion euros worth of machinery and equipment was exported from Germany to countries all over the world.

USA plans new tariffs on imports from China from August 1, 2024

New tariffs will be imposed on "green" products from China such as electric cars, batteries and solar cells, as well as on steel. A new exemption procedure for mechanical engineering products will also be launched.

Business climate survey in Brazil, China and India - 1st half-year '24

The business situation in India and Brazil remains positive. Turnover increased significantly in both countries in 2023. The companies surveyed there also expect significant nominal sales growth in 2024.

Market for machinery and equipment in Kazakhstan is growing

Kazakhstan wants to diversify its economy by significantly strengthening its manufacturing sector. European mechanical engineering companies are also benefiting from this.

Assembly work in the Ukraine

Despite the war, machines and systems are being delivered to Ukraine. This presents companies with the challenge of carrying out assembly, commissioning and servicing. Legal and safety-related aspects are important here.

India: Optimistic outlook for machinery and plant engineering

India is becoming increasingly attractive for German and European mechanical engineering companies. Local growth expectations are currently very optimistic.

Selling supplier credits more easily - does Hermes Cover help?

Since 2023, new Hermes cover has made forfaiting easier, a practical report is available.

Web-Event: Litigation or Arbitration in the USA

On Tuesday, June 4th, 2024, 2:30-4:00 pm (CET), VDMA offers an exclusive Web-Event on Litigation or Arbitration in the USA – How to protect you company in advance.

Tentative growth of the Ukrainian economy

Despite the war, Ukraine's economy recovered in 2023. Machine deliveries from the EU also increased. However, the future is full of question marks due to the military situation.

EU aid for Ukraine agreed

With its approval of the Ukraine plan, the EU Commission has cleared the way for the first payments under the Ukraine Facility. The prerequisite for the payments is absolute transparency.

First signs of easing despite high monthly loss 

In March, incoming orders in the mechanical engineering sector remained significantly below the previous year's figure. However, behind the 17% drop in real terms, signs of an easing are becoming visible.

Trade policy priorities of the next EU-Commission

The machinery sector is dependent on open markets. We call on the Commission to speed up the ongoing free trade negotiations and ensure that concluded agreements enter into force.

São Paulo promotes green expansion of the sugar-ethanol industry

The state of São Paulo wants to promote investment at the Cubatão petrochemical site. VDMA Brasil organized an exchange with the Secretary of State for Development of São Paulo.

"Clearly address trade barriers and demand remedial action"

China's economy has changed, but unfair trade practices remain. The mechanical engineering industry expects Chancellor Scholz to demand fair competition in China.

Tariff Relief is Important for VDMA Members

VDMA America calls on the US Congress to pass the bipartisan Miscellaneous Tariff Bill again.

Minister Habeck's trip to China and South Korea

Federal Minister Habeck travels to China and South Korea in June accompanied by a business delegation

New OECD rules for export credits help with competition

The modernization of the OECD consensus offers European plant manufacturers more flexibility in credit offers. Renewable energy in particular benefits.

Still many vacancies for engineers

In the last two years, the bottlenecks on the labor market for engineers have become much more acute. Never before has the mechanical engineering sector been looking for so many employees, and never before have there been so many vacancies for engineers.

Parameters of foreign subsidiaries

We have updated our interactive report on foreign affiliates. In addition, more indicators are now available.

Together with Norway on the path to a climate-neutral future

Norway and Germany want to create a climate-neutral future together. The focus is particularly on the use of hydrogen. Mechanical engineering plays a key role in this.

USA: Earnings as an interactive report

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides comprehensive employment and wage statistics. In our interactive report, we clearly present data by industry, occupational group and location.

"Neither side can afford further standstill"

Europe and the USA must finally come closer together again in trade relations. The dispute over the conformity assessment of machinery must be resolved. Simpler certification procedures are needed.

EU machine production has been shrinking since August 2023

From January to December 2023, price-adjusted production in the EU machinery and equipment manufacturing industry increased by 0.7 percent compared to the previous year.

Order slump continues

Orders in the mechanical and plant engineering sector continued to decline in February. Domestic and foreign markets were equally responsible for the 10 percent drop in orders.

Facts and figures: Research and innovation

In our theme publication you will find facts and figures on research and development, innovations and patents in machinery and equipment manufacturing.

Facts and figures: Education and workforce in machinery and equipment manufacturing

In our theme publications, you will find facts, figures and data related to vocational training, engineering courses, skilled workers, mechanical engineers and women in machinery and equipment manufacturing.

The challenge of securing skilled labor

Even if the shortage of skilled workers has recently eased somewhat, securing skilled workers remains a key challenge. Find out about the current situation in the various occupational fields here.

Reducing Conformity Assessment Barriers would be a Win-Win

VDMA is once again calling on the EU and the USA to finally conclude an agreement on the conformity assessment of machinery and equipment and to remove unnecessary obstacles for transatlantic exporters.

Global machinery turnover 2023: Slight decline

Demand for capital goods was weak in 2023. Machinery and equipment worth an estimated 3.28 trillion euros was sold worldwide, 1.5% less than in 2022.

Apprenticeship at a glance

How many apprenticeship positions are available in machinery and equipment manufacturing this year? How many applicants are there? How have supply and demand for the most important professions developed in recent years? Get all the information at a glance here.

Current developments in export control

What's new in the area of export controls? What do you currently have to be prepared for in practice? The event addressed the most important developments.

VDMA Magazin Teaser USA

Good prospects in the USA
Many European machinery and plant manufacturers already have subsidiaries in the USA. Three VDMA member companies report on why they want to expand their presence there and develop their business activities, and why the US market has potential.

Our expert and focus topics

Our expert and focus topics
Mechanical and plant engineering figures and charts
The statistically recordable world of mechanical and plant engineering - newly presented in interactive charts and tables. Find out about all the key economic figures for the industry and, in particular detail, about the development of the EU Single Market.
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.
Global markets
The world is changing fast - what was good practice yesterday may not be good practice tomorrow. The VDMA helps its members to keep track of the latest developments in global markets, customs, export financing, export controls and 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.

Level 1 Themenwolke


To the point

To the point

Auf den Punkt Zitat Markets and Economy

"The economic and political environment is currently more challenging than ever before, partly due to the many geo-economic uncertainties. But the mechanical and plant engineering industry has the self-confidence and innovative strength to overcome these challenges"

Karl Haeusgen, VDMA Chief Präsident

Auf den Punkt Zahl Markets and Economy


million euros

is the maximum order value for a forfaiting guarantee. This is additional cover to the supplier credit cover. The exporter must apply for cover for both types of cover.

Source: VDMA

Auf den Punkt Zusammenfassung Märkte und Konjunktur

Welcome to the VDMA statistics database
  • The VDMA incoming orders and turnover statistics for Germany are exclusively available to you when you participate
  • The foreign trade statistics provide you with information on the flow of goods by sector and commodity code
  • Leading economic indicators provide information on how the economic situation will develop in the future



Mon. 22.04.24 Fri. 26.04.24

  • Digitalization & Industrie 4.0

Experience the technologies that our industry is using to drive the digital transformation and decarbonization at Hannover Messe 2024! Over 4,000 companies will present pioneering solutions from mechanical and plant engineering, the electrical and digital industries and the energy sector. Numerous dialog formats with representatives from politics, industry, science, media and society will present and discuss challenges and solutions for the intelligent and carbon-neutral production of tomorrow.

Places available

Thu. 10.10.24 Fri. 11.10.24


  • Management

Every four years, the VDMA invites its member companies to the big general assembly – this year under the motto "Unique."

Every four years, the VDMA invites its member companies to the big general assembly – this year under the motto "Unique."

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Unsere Leistungen

Unsere Leistungen
VDMA Trade Fair Calendar 2024
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.
Mechanical and plant engineering figures and charts 2024
Mechanical and plant engineering figures and charts 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 flash survey
Machine and plant manufacturers are looking ahead to the year 2024 with a subdued mood. A reluctance to invest and hire new staff is noticeable due to the high level of uncertainty. The order backlog is melting for many.


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



Asset Publisher

VDMA partners

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

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Benefits for you as a member

Largest industry network in Europe

3,600 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.