The idea that Germany could somehow emerge from the current economic crisis unscathed has proved illusory. Europe’s industrial powerhouse is now feeling the effects of the economic crisis, particularly in its export-driven sector. A slew of household names, including Siemens, BASF and Puma, has had bad news to announce this week. On Thursday, engineering giant Siemens announced that orders were drying up, saying it would make it “more difficult” to reach annual targets that it had already cut in April. “We see growing reluctance among our customers to invest,” said the CEO, Peter Löscher. That was obvious in the fact the group saw orders in the second quarter of 2012 decline by 23% compared to the same period in 2011. “Our focus, above all, is on increasing our productivity and efficiency,” Löscher said. “Given the deteriorating environment, it becomes more difficult to achieve our guidance for the fiscal year.” Siemens had already reduced its revenue expectations for this year, from €6bn to between €5.2bn and €5.4bn. Now the company regards even that lowered target as “ambitious”. Another German major player, chemicals maker BASF, also had bad news. It reported a 15.5% reduction in second quarter net earnings, which it blamed… Read full this story
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