The 2016 World Machine Tool Survey
The most recent peak in global machine tool consumption occurred in 2011. We can use data from that year to size up the trends influencing investments in manufacturing from region to region since then. This multi-year perspective is revealing.
Global machine tool consumption boomed from 2003 to 2011. Despite the drastic decline in 2009, when it was down 35 percent from the year before, consumption rocketed up the next two years and in 2011 reached the highest level ever. Since then, however, global machine tool consumption has contracted in every year except 2014, including falling 11.9 percent in 2015.
However, the story is not one of general decline in manufacturing investment around the world. In fact, machine tool consumption, when examined region by region, shows that broad and diverging influences have been at work in recent years. Hence, consumption has been up and down, here and there, over the past few years—and these trends provide the basis for forecasting machine tool consumption in 2016.
This year, we are looking at the data a little bit differently to reach an interpretation that we think offers a useful perspective. We are using 2011, the most recent peak in global machine tool consumption, as a kind of baseline. From this baseline, we are looking at how the level of investment has changed in the world’s three major manufacturing regions. We can then explain a bit about what has been happening in each of these regions to account for those changes—and the differences from region to region.
The initial boom in machine tool consumption from 2003 to 2008 was driven in relatively equal proportions by Asia and Europe, but the secondary boom in 2010 and 2011 was almost exclusively driven by consumption in Asia. Perhaps it is not so surprising that the bust in global machine tool consumption, down more than 43 percent since 2011, was driven by Asia, too.