Economic growth forecast to slow down to 6.3% in 2016, but no hard landing expected for the time being.
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The economic impact of USMCA on Mexican-US trade is likely to be limited, as it is effectively a small modification of the pre-existing NAFTA agreement.
Trade policy uncertainty is one of the top risks to US businesses and consumers in 2019 that may bring the next downturn on more quickly than expected.
Despite a forecast growth slowdown in 2019 the economy should still experience positive momentum, with low unemployment and manageable inflation.
The USMCA has finally been signed on November 30, easing short-term uncertainty surrounding North American trade.
Despite ongoing growth, there are challenges ahead, as profit margins of businesses decreased in 2017 and H1 of 2018 due to sharply increased input costs.
Many producers are under pressure to either expand/grow or refuse orders, while difficulties in hiring skilled staff impacts further business expansion.
As in previous years, competition remains strong in the domestic market, mainly among small and medium-sized machinery companies depending on construction.
A modest insolvency increase is expected in 2019, with businesses related to oil and gas exploration, construction and agricultural markets mainly exposed.
The demand situation for Belgian machinery businesses is generally positive, but remains affected by difficulties in some major buyer industries.
There is pressure on the profits of turbine manufacturers and their suppliers along the value chain, and further consolidation seems to be likely.