BERLIN, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Germany's mechanical and plant engineering companies have experienced a promising start to the new year, a report published on Monday by the German Mechanical and Plant Engineering Federation (VDMA) showed.
According to the report, monthly orders in the mechanical and plant engineering industry rose by 14 percent in January compared to the same period last year, which is partially attributed to a surge in eurozone demand by nearly 25 percent.
Last year, a buoyant global economy propelled German mechanical and plant engineering output by 3.1 percent to a total of around 212 billion euros (261 billion U.S. dollars). The VDMA expects to record a similar growth rate again in 2018.
The VDMA noted that German and international orders both grew by 14 percent on average in January, reflecting a strengthening of domestic demand in the European Union's (EU) largest economy.
"The catch-up process for domestic investment is still ongoing," a statement by VDMA chief economist Ralph Wiechers read.
Although the report forecast that international demand would remain robust, the VDMA also voiced concerns that the appreciation of the euro against the dollar and other currencies would inevitably raise the cost of German machines and plants outside of the European monetary union.
Additionally, a trade war unleashed by the protectionist policies of U.S. President Donald Trump posed a significant material threat as it would curtail access to the industry's single largest international market.
Counting around 1.35 million staff, mechanical and plant engineering is considered to be Germany's largest industrial employer.