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U.S. Still Largest Producer of Industrial Machines in 2006
Oct 13, 2008
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According to the latest statistics from IMS Research, the United States retained its lead as the world’s largest producer of industrial machines in 2006, with US$122 billion worth of production. This lead is narrowing, however. Germany was second with $119 billion, followed closely by Japan with $110 billion. This may be changing with the weakening of the dollar since 2006.

The fastest growing region has, of course, been China. Its industrial machinery production has averaged 23% annual growth since 2002, driving it past Italy and France to take the fourth position. According to IMS research analyst Steve Odom, "China is in another league of machinery production growth rates. The good news for other regions is that this growth seems now less about industries and plants migrating from higher cost regions to China," he says. "Rather, the growth now seems a net positive for other regions. China’s domestic growth is so strong, it is requiring industrial machine imports to fuel this growth. Demand from China has made worldwide growth in industrial machines very broad based."

The greater the technology requirements, the more global suppliers benefited from trade with China. For example, production of packaging machinery and semiconductor machinery saw better than average growth in technology-leading areas, such as Germany and the U.S, IMS says. Countries that can deliver machines with the greatest productivity and reliability are competitive even for low-cost production in China.

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