European chemicals output is expected to grow by 2.0% this
year, driven by rising demand from customer industries,
particularly car-makers, and some stabilization in the construction
These findings were issued Friday in a new report from Cefic,
known as the European Chemical Industry Council.
Production growth is expected to continue in 2015, though the
pace is likely to slow to 1.5% as restocking tails off. The
return to growth follows a modest fall in output during 2013
as the industry wrestled with the second slowdown of
Europes double-dip recession.
After a 22% slump by more than 20%, Europes production
of chemicals has yet to match the peak achieved in 2008.
We now expect a long-awaited return to growth in output
by the Europe
an chemical industry this
year," said Cefic president Kurt Bock. "However, the recovery
is volatile and the pace of expansion
is being held back by
high energy prices, which put Europe
an producers at a severe
disadvantage compared to those in North America and the
Middle East who benefit in particular from cheaper gas.
In its bi-annual industry forecast, Cefic said that chemical
industry output contracted by 0.2% in 2013, slightly less
than the 0.5% expected. The outlook for 2014 has also
improved: growth in 2014 is now expected to reach 2.0%,
Looking at the wider economy, European confidence indicators
are positive, and purchasing managers expectations
suggest that Europe
s industrial recovery
is broadening out.