The German woodworking technology industry has reported a 42% fall in sales in 2009, but growth of 10-15% is predicted this year.

The German Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers’ Association said 2009 had been the worst year in decades. Parent group the VDMA (German Engineering Federation) went a step further, describing the year as a “cataclysm”.

Overseas sales of German woodworking machinery declined by 44%, while domestic sales dropped by 34%.

However, the fourth quarter was a bright spot, with a 42% growth in new orders, albeit from an existing very low level.

“The worst is probably behind us,said association Bernhard Dirr managing director. “But I would not speak of any sustained recovery. Many businesses are felling the full consequences of the [economic] crisis in 2010.”