12 March 2015

CEMBUREAU Quartely Economic Report now available (Q4 2014)

CEMBUREAU Quartely Economic Report now available (Q4 2014)

Published by CEMBUREAU, the European Cement Association, this Quarterly Economic Report (QER) provides an overview of economic conditions across Europe.  It includes information on macroeconomic conditions, GDP, industrial activity and construction.  Country specific summaries are also included for Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Q4 2014 Highlights:

  • Annual GDP figures for 2014 resulting from Q4 data continued to reveal a mixed picture across the EU, but also a clear improvement in general macroeconomic conditions and better economic growth expectations. In the EU as a whole real GDP growth reverted to positive territory (1.3% after zero in 2013), as well as in the euro area, albeit a lower rate (0.8%, after the 0.5% recession in 2013).
  • Short-term outlook based on the latest quarterly figures shows that economic growth gained momentum in most countries in Q4 2014. This was somewhat a strange combination of negative inflation rates and very low nominal GDP growth rates that resulted in positive real growth rates.
  • However, the latest European Commission forecast outline improved macroeconomic conditions and more positive economic sentiment for the next quarters, resulting in better GDP predictions for 2015.On the other hand, the EU’s economic performance over the first two quarters of 2015 may be hampered once again by certain tensions regarding government bond yields (albeit being offset by the announcement of the above ECB’s APP) due to the dispute surrounding the possible restructuring of Greek sovereign debt’
  • Q4 2014 industrial activity in the EU remained around the levels observed in the previous quarter. Industrial production recovered only in Germany, and fell in other major manufacturing countries, albeit at moderate rates
  • Leading indicators for construction activity in Q4 2014 continued to move around low levels in historical terms, with the exception of Germany.
  • Cement manufacturing production indices in Q4 2014 remained around record lows across the EU, with the exception of Germany where the quarter-on-quarter rebound was significant.
  • CEMBUREAU’s broad forecasts for the construction and cement sectors in 2015 (based on available leading indicators and Euroconstruct data) foresee recovery in construction activity in most markets, main reasons are the upturn in the residential subsector due to rising housing demand, interest rates at record lows boosting private non-residential, and momentum for moderate fiscal expansion in certain EU Member States as a result of improved macroeconomic conditions and the expected effects of the ECB’s APP.

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