Economic News Blog
Posted by: Steven Kline, Jr. 2. May 2019

2018 Global Machine Tool Consumption Up 4.8%

On the surface, the findings of Gardner Intelligence’s latest World Machine Tool Survey portray a seemingly ordinary year for the machine tool industry. Scratch the surface, however, and we find something remarkable happening: major geographic regions for machine tools are moving in very different directions.

According to the latest survey, the results of which have recently been published, global machine tool consumption increased $4.1 billion, or 4.8%, to $91.9 billion in 2018. This made 2018 an apparently ordinary year, as the median annual increase in global machine tool consumption since 1961 is 4.2%.

Yet what makes 2018’s growth in machine tool consumption remarkable is what has happened in China. Since 2002, China has been the world’s leading machine tool consumer, and the country has consumed at least 33.7% of the world total since 2009. This was the case until 2018, when China’s consumption dropped 5.9% from $30.7 billion to $28.8 billion, and its share of global machine tool consumption fell to 31.4%. For the worldwide growth to remain average amid this precipitous drop, growth outside of China must have been exceptionally high.

You can learn much more about the global machine tool market by purchasing the 2018 report at, including:

  • Overview of the machine tool industry
  • Chart detailing the top 20 producers, importers, exporters and consumers for 2018
  • Chart detailing the largest trade balances in 2018
  • Analysis of 60 countries, highlighting each country’s production, imports, exports, and consumption, key leading indicators, and consumption trend over time
  • NEW total and year-over-year changes in imports and exports for specific machine types (at the four-digit HS code level) for every country that has such data


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