According to Cefic, the European chemicals industry expansion in 2012 will probably reach 1.5 %.
Growth in European chemicals output will be weaker than expected in 2012 because of heightened business uncertainty and inventory trimming, industry group Cefic said.
The group’s summary forecast of chemicals sector economists predicts year-on-year growth of chemicals output for 2011 is likely to be 2 %, in line with the historical trend growth rate and against 4.5 % expected in June. Expansion in 2012 will probably reach 1.5 %. Following on from a strong demand recovery with double-digit growth in 2010, much of 2011’s rise in chemicals output took place in the first quarter. Since then, output has been relatively flat.
Cefic said it believes chemical industry growth will resume during 2012, however, strengthening slowly through the year. Its forecasters expect underlying EU gross domestic product growth of 1 % in 2012, down sharply from the 1.8 % they predicted in June.
Growth in most developed economies remains perilously slow, and austerity measures are provoking political protest. Developing Asian economies continue to grow, but asset bubbles there could deflate suddenly.