April 11, 2018 / 7:35 AM / in 10 months

German engineering production rose 3.9 percent in 2017, more growth ahead

FILE PHOTO - Welding robots are pictured in a Golf VII production line at the plant of German carmaker Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, Germany May 20, 2016. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Production in Germany’s engineering sector rose by a stronger-than-expected 3.9 percent to 223 billion euros in 2017, and will likely grow by at least 3 percent this year, the president of the VDMA industry group told Reuters.

Carl Martin Welcker, who heads the industry group, said the production growth reported for 2017 could still be revised upward, as could the growth forecast for 2018. The group had initially forecast 2017 production growth of 3 percent.

“The mood in the sector is excellent, and the numbers are excellent as well,” Welcker told Reuters in an interview.

“The year is off to a successful start. We are now reexamining our forecasts,” he said, noting the group could release a revised 2018 forecast at the Hanover trade fair in two weeks.

Welcker said German engineering firms saw strong demand in all important markets such as the United States, where U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax policies sparked a jump in orders, as well as China and Russia. The only exceptions were Britain and Turkey, he said.

Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; Writing by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Michael Nienaber

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