Frankfurt, Germany – According to estimates by VDMA economists, sales of machinery in 2018 rose by a total of 4 percent to €2.6 trillion. With an increase of 5 percent to just under €1.34 trillion, Asia remained by far the largest manufacturing region in the machinery industry. The growth rate in Europe and in the EU countries corresponded to the global average of plus 4 percent. The EU countries produced significantly fewer machines (€694 billion) than Asia, but more than twice as many as the USA (plus 2 percent to €334 billion). “The growth in worldwide machine sales is encouraging, but could have been even higher in a calmer political environment. We will probably not really see the consequences of the trade disputes or the brexit until this year due to the long lead times in the mechanical engineering sector,” commented Dr Ralph Wiechers, Chief Economist, VDMA, on the results.