Muscle Man

German Metalworking And Electronics Make Global Push

Steel worker in German’ys thriving metal industry
The German metal industry holds its own in the global market.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    As China’s metal and electrical industry gobbles up world market share, Germany is bucking the trend.

  • Facts


    • M+E’s share in German gross-value creation increased from 13.3 percent in 2000 to 14.6 percent today.
    • German metalworking and electrical companies had about €1,000 billion ($1,314 billion) in sales during 2013.
    • About two-thirds of all research and development spending in Germany go to the metal and electrical sector.
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Once every year, German business leaders gather for a summit on the state of the nation’s industries. The annual Day of German Industry comes again September 23 with Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Sigmar Gabriel welcoming the economic elite.

The messages likely will be similar to those a year ago: Germany has done well not to put all its hopes in the financial and service sectors, as Great Britain has done. Only flourishing industry assures success as an exporting nation – and this achievement must not be allowed to fall to rising energy prices.

In fact, Germany up to now has fought off the threats of deindustrialization that afflict many of its neighbors – due largely to the strength of its metal and electrical industry.

The industry’s employer association, Arbeitgeberverband Gesamtmetall, commissioned a recent study by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research. It showed that the industry’s share in gross-value creation increased from 13.3 percent in 2000 to 14.6 percent today. The share for the service sector, meantime, stayed about the same, at 68.7 percent.

“The trend toward deindustrialization in Germany has been halted mostly because of positive growth in metalworking and electronics,” said Michael Stahl, the chief economist for Gesamtmetall.

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