Belgium – Recessionary pressures in the EU are likely to ease from the second quarter of 2012 onwards, according to the latest economic and market assessment from European steel association Eurofer. As a result, the Brussels-based organisation expects the downward trend in apparent steel consumption in Europe to ‘reverse into a gradual strengthening’ in the second half of this year – although not enough to prevent an overall demand fall of 2.7% for 2012.
Eurofer’s Director-General Gordon Moffat comments: ‘The recent trend in the indicators is consistent with a stabilisation in economic fundamentals after months of weakening; this could pave the way for a cautious recovery later in the year. Owing to solid order backlogs and support from the weaker Euro on export markets, activity across the EU’s manufacturing sector has been holding up relatively well.’ On balance, activity in steel-using sectors is expected to drop by less than 1% in 2012.
Mr Moffat expresses confidence that, in 2013, ‘a further improvement in the business cycle will result in a modest rebound in real consumption and trigger some restocking’. For this reason, the organisation is predicting that apparent steel consumption will rise by 2.5% next year.
For more information, visit: www.eurofer.org
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