FRANKFURT Dec 13 German engineers expect muted
growth in 2017, with an uncertain outlook for business in the
United States and China offsetting a recovery in exports to some
markets such as Russia and India, industry body VDMA said on
"A broad-based economic recovery would look different, and
no real impulses for growth are in sight," VDMA President Carl
Martin Welcker said, affirming a forecast for 1 percent sector
output growth in 2017 after a flat 2016.
Welcker warned it was unclear what path the United States,
German engineers' biggest export market, would take after Donald
Trump replaces Barack Obama as president in January.
"The designated President's comments don't make us
optimistic," he said.
In China, meanwhile, there are still numerous risks such as
overcapacity and high debt levels, the VDMA said, adding it
could not rule out a continued decline in exports to the world's
In the first nine months of 2016, the value of exports to
the United States eased by 2.4 percent to 12.2 billion euros
($12.9 billion), while those to China dropped 11.5 percent to
Exports to Russia could return to slight growth in 2017,
after a 7.3 percent slide in the first nine months of 2016, the
VDMA said, adding demand from Brazil could bottom out next year
and that from India could recover.
The VDMA, which represents large engineering companies such
as Siemens as well as thousands of medium-sized
industrial goods makers, sees sector sales edging up to 224
billion euros in 2017 from 220 billion this year.
The engineering sector is Germany's largest industrial
employer, with 1.02 million workers.
($1 = 0.9427 euros)
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Tina Bellon and Mark