Has business mood peaked already?

Though still on high levels, the general business mood in Europe's farm machinery industry may have peaked already. In particular, future expectations have become somewhat more cautious.

The tractor industry is especially cautious about the next six months - though the expected order decline in Q1/2018 may be the result of a regulatory technicality, i.e. the pull-forward registration effect by the full entry into force of the new EU Type Approval Regulation on 1 January 2018. 

The business climate for tractors deteriorated significantly (both future and current evaluation are below the industry average), while other segments, as for example livestock equipment, continue with very positive ratings. Also, total agricultural machinery volume of orders remains at a record level of 2.9 months of production.

The regional breakdown shows once again that a majority of survey participants expects turnover increases in the next six months. The CIS region has lost some ground (from top to midfield). The best prospects are now seen in Scandinavia. In Poland, the recovery is further maturing after years of recession. The outlook for Germany and the UK remains strong. Drough-affected Spain ends up at the bottom of the European ranking.