A new three-year global forecast for the machine-tool market projects a 5.5% annual growth rate through 2019, driven particularly by expanding demand in China and other developing nations. The total market is given an estimated value of $181 billion by the end of the current three-year period.
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Freedonia offered that global market growth will be largely driven by durable-goods demand in particular regional markets, including China, but also the Asia/Pacific region in general, Africa/Mideast, Eastern Europe, and Central and South America. However, China alone is expected to account for more than two-fifths of all new machine-tool product demand through 2019.
The three-year forecast for Western Europe sees 6% annual growth there, the second-largest regional market. That rate would match the average global growth rate, and Western Europe will account for 18% of global machine-tool demand gains through 2019.
Market conditions are expected to improve in various other regions as a result of overall economic growth and increasing capital investments.
“Growth will also be supported by the introduction of more expensive machine tools,” according to Freedonia analyst Gleb Mytko. In Western Europe, new machine-tool technologies (e.g., increased standards for process control and precision) are among the factors that will increase the relative value of new products.
Machine tool demand in Japan is expected to increase for the first time in several years, where pent-up demand is a significant factor in the forecast expansion.
North American machine tool demand is forecast to decline by almost 1% annually through 2019, entirely as a result of weak U.S. manufacturing conditions. In addition, durable goods manufacturers across the region have been modernizing operations and replacing older equipment on a steady basis over recent years, so demand for new and replacement machine tools will be minimized through 2019.
In Mexico, demand will grow faster than the worldwide average, while in Canada the increases will be on pace with the average.