Sales and incoming orders pick up again

The AMA Association for Sensors and Measurement conducts a quarterly survey of its 450 members on economic developments. The industry generated sales growth of two per cent in the first quarter compared to the previous quarter. Incoming orders rose by nine per cent at the beginning of the year compared to the previous quarter. Sensor and measurement technology developed positively with these results. This is reflected in the expectations of AMA members, who anticipate a two per cent increase in turnover for the second quarter.

 

With a two per cent increase in turnover and a nine per cent increase in incoming orders, the book-to-bill ratio for the first quarter is stable at 1. This is an indicator of the medium-term trend in the order situation and is defined as the ratio of incoming orders to turnover in the same period.

 

In contrast, the ifo Institute reported a deterioration in sentiment in the German economy as a whole, mainly due to companies' more pessimistic expectations for the coming months. While assessments of the current situation remained unchanged, the German economy is still struggling to overcome the current stagnation. In the manufacturing sector in particular, companies were more sceptical about the coming months, especially due to a falling order backlog.
The different developments in the overall economy and the sensor and measurement technology sector underline the importance of specialised sectors as drivers of economic growth and stability.

 

"The positive results of our survey show that the sensor and measurement technology sector is currently stable and future-orientated," says Thomas Simmons, Managing Director of the AMA Association. "Our members remain optimistic and also expect slight growth in the second quarter. After all, sensors are an indispensable component of technical innovation and digitalisation."

 

Sensors and measurement: ups and downs in sales and incoming orders

In January 2024, the AMA Association for Sensors and Measurement (AMA) surveyed its members on the economic development of the past financial year. AMA members generated a six percent increase in sales compared to the previous year. In the fourth quarter, sales fell by six percent and incoming orders by three percent compared to the previous quarter. However, AMA members are cautiously positive about the 2024 financial year and expect turnover to grow by two percent.

 

Higher investments planned
AMA members invested one percent more in the past 2023 than in the previous year, but plan to increase investment by thirteen percent in the current year while maintaining the same number of staff. Members are thus focusing on the future viability of the industry, investing in technologies, and underlining the relevance of sensor and measurement technology.

 

Decline in exports to non-European countries
The export ratio for sensor and measurement technology fell by 17 percentage points to 48% in 2023. It is clear to see that the export ratio to other Central European countries remained stable, while the export ratio outside Europe fell significantly.

 

Availability of important supplier products
In 2023, the supply bottlenecks for semiconductors and comparable supplier products decreased noticeably for most AMA members. In the January survey, around 20% of members stated that they were still experiencing difficulties with procurement. This suggests that most sensor specialists are now able to cover their requirements again without any problems.

 

Summarizing statement
"The fourth quarter of 2023 was more difficult than expected for the sensor and measurement technology sector. The decline in sales hit the large members harder than the small and medium-sized companies. This particularly affected the large members that supply the automotive industry," says Thomas Simmons, Managing Director of the AMA Association, summarizing the new statistics. "Our members are cautiously optimistic for the current year 2024 and expect sales growth of two percent. The planned increase in investments of thirteen percent is pleasing, which for me is a clear commitment to the innovative strength and relevance of sensor and measurement technology for the industry."