Demand for German machine tools growing: VDMA

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Orders for German machine tools, a crucial cog in Europe's biggest economy, grew further in the first quarter of 2011, though the pace slowed slightly, the sector federation VDMA said on Tuesday.

From January through March, orders gained 32 percent from the figure for the same period in 2010, a statement said.

A breakdown of the data showed that domestic orders were up by 35 percent while those from abroad gained 31 percent.

"As expected, a normalisation of the growth rate is setting in," VDMA's top economist, Ralph Wiechers was quoted as saying.

He added that the result of comparisons with weak levels seen during the country's last recession were now "playing a less important role" because the sector had already seen signs of a rebound in early 2010.

Machine tool manufacturers hope to create 20,000 jobs this year, which would bring their total number in Germany to more than 930,000.

For the full year, the dynamic exporting industrial sector forecasts growth of 10-14 percent, the statement said.

© 2011 AFP

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