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Mechanical engineering NRW: Challenging environment takes its toll

Order intake in the mechanical and plant engineering sector in North Rhine-Westphalia in September 2023 fell short of its prior-year result by 45 percent in real terms. There were 29 percent fewer orders from Germany and 50 percent fewer from abroad. The euro zone contributed to this foreign result with a minus of 29 percent and the non-euro zone with a minus of 56 percent.

In the less volatile three-month period from July to September 2023, incoming orders decreased by 28 percent year-on-year. Orders from Germany fell by 14 percent and orders from abroad by 34 percent. Demand from the European region fell 17 percent short of the previous year’s figures and from non-European countries by 40 percent.

A look at the first three quarters of 2023 shows that orders fell 14 percent short of the previous year’s results. Domestic orders were up 3 percent and foreign orders down 21 percent, with non-European countries contributing minus 11 percent and European countries minus 25 percent to the latter.

The significant drop in orders in September should be seen against the backdrop of September 2022, which was by far the strongest month for orders last year. The strong negative order trend can therefore be explained – albeit not fully – by the so-called base effect. The challenging environment is impacting the ordering behavior of mechanical engineering customers and eating into order backlogs.