27.12.2021 – 09:00
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Frankfurt am Main (ots)
- PwC mechanical engineering barometer: The mood in the industry remains tense even in the second Corona winter
- The sales forecast for 2022 is positive
- Cost pressures are becoming a major concern
The decision-makers in German mechanical and plant engineering are looking to the year 2022 with hope and uncertainty at the same time. Only four out of ten managers expect the German economy to develop positively in the coming year. Since the middle of the year, the proportion of optimists among mechanical engineers has almost halved. Fewer than a third of the world economy still has positive expectations. The sales forecasts, on the other hand, read very positively. If it weren’t for the cost. This comes from the current mechanical engineering barometer of the auditing and consulting company PwC Germany (PwC).
Sales expectations significantly higher than in the previous year
While those surveyed last year gave very gloomy forecasts for the entire industry (-2.7 percent) and their own companies (1.3 percent), their prospects for the coming year are shaped by greater expectations. For the entire industry, the decision-makers surveyed estimate the increase in sales to be 4.4 percent. They forecast average growth of 8.2 percent for their own companies. “This is a slight decrease compared to the last two quarters, but it shows confidence in an industry that has to balance its business between the order boom and delivery bottlenecks, between investments in digital and sustainable value creation and record price increases for raw materials”, analyzes Dr. Klaus-Peter Gushurst, Head of Industries & Innovation at PwC Germany.
Utilization remains stable and high
Despite numerous material bottlenecks in the field of electronics (shortage of semiconductors, chip crisis), metals and plastics and sometimes sharp price increases for raw materials and materials, full order books ensure a comparatively high capacity utilization of the machine and system builders. At an average of 89.5 percent, however, it is slightly lower than in the middle of this year. Almost every second company is currently working at its capacity limit. In the previous year it was just a quarter of the companies at the same time. “In fact, the industry coped with the effects of the Corona crisis comparatively well in 2021. Global quality leadership is paying off. Because foreign orders in particular are vital for the model industry,” says Gushurst. “The more the cost pressure causes the decision-makers headaches.”
Costs are increasing in all areas
In fact, cost pressure is currently seen as the greatest challenge for mechanical engineering companies. Most decision-makers (84 percent) currently see it as an obstacle to growth, closely followed by the corona pandemic (82 percent), which has significantly increased in importance compared to the previous quarter, and the shortage of skilled workers (72 percent). 81 percent of those surveyed assume that their total costs will continue to grow in the short term. Their share has increased continuously in the last few months and has reached the highest level of all previous survey waves. Only one in 100 respondents still believes in a reduction in costs. For the vast majority of machine-builders, however, one thing is certain: in 2022, both personnel costs (72 percent) and spending on energy (84 percent) and especially raw materials and intermediate products (88 percent) will rise. For this reason, two out of three respondents do not rule out passing their additional financial expenses on to customers and increasing sales prices – a record high in all previous waves of the survey. “In the long term, price increases do not act as a recipe for cost pressure,” Gushurst sums up. “Because behind it there are much bigger issues like the future of work and production, the transparency of added value and responsibility for social and ecological issues. Rather, after two years of crisis and crisis management, it will be about transforming your own business in the new year decided in the direction of digitization, sustainability and climate neutrality, and thus also to advance efficiency and resilience. ”
About the PwC mechanical engineering barometer:
The PwC mechanical engineering barometer is the result of a quarterly panel survey among executives in German mechanical and plant engineering. In addition to an assessment of the general economic development, the study reflects the company’s expectations with regard to key figures such as costs, prices and investment volumes. In addition, changing topics are discussed in depth in each issue.
Sven Michael Hoffmann
PwC | Communications
Tel.: +49 211 981-7466
Email: [email protected]
Original content by: PwC Germany, transmitted by news aktuell