Peter H. Loescher
Thank you, Mariel. Welcome, and good morning to everybody. Before I walk you through Q3, let me give you a brief perspective on key macroeconomic indicators relevant for our business. Overall, the near-term global GDP growth expectations have come down and are somewhat sluggish, with growth rates around 2.7% for 2012 and 3% for 2013. We have seen quite a cooling down in demand in important end markets that are driven particularly by the export-oriented German industry, as you can also see from the current IFO level or VDMA numbers.
The investment climate in our -- in a number of Western European countries remains very weak due to the ongoing austerity measures and restricted access to and high cost of capital. In addition, important emerging markets, like Brazil and India, have lost speed as well. The lower growth level of industry value added in China points also weakening investment in certain customer industries in China, like machine tool builder, rail equipment or automotive. We don't expect any recovery in our end markets in China in 2012, but we believe that growth could resume in the course of 2013. All in all, we expect economic environment for Siemens to be challenging over the next couple of quarters, and thus, cost efficiency and productivity need to be in the forefront of our management approach.
This leads me to the performance in this third quarter, which was mixed with, on the one hand, positive developments such as continued revenue growth and on the other hand, some disappointments in order intake and profitability in some businesses. The macroeconomic environment has weakened in a number of our key markets during the current quarter, which clearly affected our bookings. Growth rates have softened now also in Germany, while the BRIC countries are increasingly impacted by a lower demand from the worldwide customers. As already indicated, this has had a subsequent negative impact on the structural mix of our short-cycle businesses.
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