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German machine tool industry production to shrink 15% this year
According to the German 'Business Daily' report on February 27, German machine tool manufacturers are worried that 2009 will be worse than the current situation. Welcker, chairman of the German Machine Tool Manufacturers Association (VDW), estimates that the industry's production will at least be shrink by 15%. This estimate suggests that the situation will worsen further. The number of orders in the fourth quarter of last year fell by 54% year-on-year, and the most affected were standard machine tools used in the automotive industry. Employment in the industry has fallen from 73,400 in October 2008 to about 67,000 by the end of the year. The layoffs are mainly temporary workers, but try to retain the technical staff. At present, the company does not think it will be out of the woods soon, but hopes that the situation will improve by the end of the year.