The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) predicts that the output of the EU chemical industry—excluding pharmaceuticals—will grow by 2.6% in 2007, up from 2.1% in 2006. However, a downturn is expected in 2008, when a growth rate of 1.9% is predicted. In 2007, consumer chemicals production is expected to increase by 4.5% and by 3.0% in 2008, respectively. Petrochemicals production is forecasted to grow by 3.8% in 2007, up from 1.3% in 2006, but post only 2.0% growth in 2008. Polymers output, which grew by only 0.2% in 2006, is expected to grow 1.5% in both 2007 and 2008. Basic inorganics production is expected to slow from 1.7% growth in 2006 to 0.5% growth in 2007 but to grow 1.0% in 2008. Pharmaceuticals production, which grew by 8.1% in 2006, is expected to slow to 4.0% growth in 2007 and 3.5% growth in 2008. Cefic warns that the dollar’s weakness against the euro could affect EU chemical exports and that continued high oil prices will drive production costs up and consumer and business confidence down.

Source: Cefic

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