Web Date: March 5, 2012
German Chemical Output Predicted To Be Flat In 2012
German chemical output, which has been in decline since May 2011, is expected to improve as 2012 progresses, but at best it will only match 2011’s performance, predicts VCI, the main chemical industry association in Germany. Sales are expected to increase by only 1.0%, the association says.
VCI draws its conclusions from part of a report on the fourth quarter of 2011 and the year as a whole. The association found that German chemical output in 2011 rose by 2.2% over 2010. Sales increased 7.7% to a record for the industry, and employment rose 3.0% to 427,000 jobs.
In the last quarter of the year, however, production fell by 2.0% compared with the third quarter and by 4.3% compared with the fourth quarter of 2010. In fact, German chemical output has steadily declined since May 2011, the association says, as sovereign debt problems in the European Union have weighed heavily on consumers and governments.
“Slowdown effects of the debt crisis in the EU became increasingly obvious in the past year and made themselves felt also in our industry,” says Utz Tillman, VCI’s director general. “But now we seem to have reached the trough; the business situation is getting brighter for chemistry.”
The broader European chemical industry is following a similar trend. In a report released late last month, the European Chemical Industry Council said EU chemical output increased 1.1% in 2011 compared with 2010. But the data for December 2011 alone showed a 1.8% decline compared with December 2010. Economists at the council say economic sentiment is on the rise in Europe.
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