FRANKFURT, Germany—The German tire and rubber goods manufacturing sector has entered a phase of zero or near-zero growth, according to figures presented at the WDK's recent autumn conference in Frankfurt.
For the sector as a whole, the outlook is for full year sales to come in at $20.2 billion —just 0.1 percent higher than in 2017—followed by "stagnation" next year, the industry association's chief economist Michael Berthel said.
Driven by a strong export performance, sales of German-made technical elastomer products showed a 3 percent year-on-year rise to end of August. However, Berthel noted that a subsequent slowdown is set to cut full year growth to around 1.5 percent.
The tire sector, meanwhile, was impacted by a shift to all-season tires, competitive pressures and imports, the WDK economist said. This led to a 7 percent drop in sales in the first eight months, with a 2 percent decline expected in the final quarter.