Following the global economic downturn, machinery production returned to growth in the vast majority of nations, according to IMS Research (www.imsresearch.com). This isn't surprising considering the magnitude of the decline in 2008 and 2009. More interesting is when production will return to the peak levels seen before the downturn. According to the forecasted figures as part of the IMS Research Machinery Production Yearbook, many countries still won't have regained the machinery production of 2007 or 2008, even by 2013.
IMS Research forecasts that, of the large regions, only Asia-Pacific will have surpassed its pre-recession levels. This recovery will, of course, be fueled to a large extent by China, but many other fast-growing economies such as India and South Korea also will have recovered.
In Europe, with established, developed industries throughout the region, recovery will take quite a bit longer, explained Andrew Robertson, research analyst at IMS. The current uncertainties of sovereign debt and the sluggish growth of the general economy associated with the severe cuts in public expenditure to be taken across Europe contribute to the slow predicted rate of recovery of machine production.
In the U.S., the picture seems a little brighter. Having come out of the recession slightly earlier than Europe, and with the recovery looking slightly smoother, machinery production is predicted to climb in 2013 to the levels seen before the recession, according to the yearbook's predictions.
The difference between the regions' performances is quite striking, with machinery production in Asia-Pacific predicted to grow by more than 11% in 2010, in the Americas by almost 4% and in Europe by less than 3%.