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German engineering exports down 1.5% in 2019: VDMA

BERLIN (Reuters) – German engineering exports will likely fall further in 2020 after dropping 1.5% in real terms in 2019, engineering industry association VDMA said on Thursday.

VDMA said the mechanical engineer sector could not escape the impact of a weak industrial production worldwide, adding that international trade disputes, protectionism, Brexit and structural changes in the auto industry hit exports.

“In view of the current mechanical engineering orders, a renewed decline in exports is likely for 2020 as a whole,” VDMA economic expert Olaf Wortmann said in a statement.

Coronavirus impact on exports to China cannot yet be estimated, but the virus risk will not alter the importance of the Chinese market to German engineering companies, VDMA added.

(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Michael Nienaber)