European Union

The European Chemical Industry Council’s (Cefic) spring economic outlook predicts that EU chemical industry production, excluding pharmaceuticals, will grow 2.7% in 2007, up from 2.1% growth in 2006. In general, high oil prices had less of an effect on the chemical industry than expected and the year started well, with first quarter output rising 3.6% on a year-to-year basis. Healthy domestic demand, positive trade developments outside the EU and Germany’s economic resurgence are all to have a continued good effect on EU chemical production for the remainder of 2007. The petrochemical and polymer sectors are expected to make rebounds this year, jumping from 1.3% to 2.6% growth and from 0.2% to 1.7% growth, respectively. Pharmaceutical production is expected to grow 5% in 2007, down from 8.1% growth in 2006. A small decline is expected for 2008—production growth is forecast to reach 2.3%—due to a general slowdown in global economic activity. Source: Cefic

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